When parents in Texas divorce, they or a family law court judge will establish a child custody agreement. These agreements address issues such as physical and legal custody, parenting time and, when necessary, child support payments. In most cases, these agreements are binding and will last until a child becomes an adult. However, it is sometimes necessary for parents to request a modification to these agreements.
The reasons why a parent may opt to request a child custody agreement modification vary, but they usually involve a significant change in circumstances of one or both parents. It should be noted that courts are usually unwilling to change these agreements unless there is a good reason to do so, and that reason has an impact on the best interests of the child.
One such reason might be that a parent is engaging in behavior that is potentially dangerous to the child. For example, if a parent is involved in criminal activity, addicted to drugs or alcohol or abusive, the courts may consider a change in the custody agreement or parenting plan.
Another reason why courts will grant a modification is if one or both parents plan to relocate some distance from where the family currently lives. In such cases, a parent with physical custody may request that the court permit him or her to take the children with him or her. Other modifications may address changes to joint custody arrangements or parenting time.
Finally, child custody modifications will be necessary if a parent with physical custody dies. The modification may place the child in the custody of the other parent or, if circumstances dictate, the care of a third party.
Individuals who are concerned about child custody issues may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may review his or her client’s circumstances and recommend courses of action when it comes to custody, child support and other family law issues.