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When can you apply for child custody modification?

Going through a divorce involves many difficult matters, including who is going to have custody of the children. Whether the judge presiding over the case determines custody of the children or you and your spouse agree on a parenting plan through mediation, it is critical to keep the child’s best interests in mind.

You or your former spouse may experience a dramatic change in life that affects your ability to maintain your current child custody plan. In certain situations, you may want to apply for a child custody modification.

What constitutes a child custody modification?

There are several reasons why you may need to update the current custody arrangement, according to Texas statutes, these reasons may include the following:

  • Parent is deployed due to military duty
  • Parent is incarcerated or criminally convicted of a crime
  • Child is in physical and/or emotional danger in the current living situation
  • Parent passes away
  • Parent relocates a significant distance away

In addition, a parent’s employment may change in such a way where the parent is no longer able to spend the same amount of time with the child. In some cases, a child over the age of 12 years can tell the judge which parent he or she would like to live with.

How do you initiate a modification order?

If you and your former spouse can agree on a new custody arrangement, you can simply fill out the necessary forms and present the modified agreement to the court for approval. If you cannot come to an agreement, you should start by filling out a petition to modify the parent-child relationship. The court will then serve the other parent in the case. The judge presiding over the case will listen to both sides and make a decision based on the child’s best interests.