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Can you request a custody modification?

Separating from your spouse is difficult enough, but when you have to separate and care for a child at the same time, it can be exhausting. You need to work out a custody plan for your child, and at the same time, you have to make sure you have enough time for work and your other responsibilities.

While your child does come first, the reality is that you need to have a schedule that works for you, too. If you’ve set up a schedule in the past that was working well but that no longer meets your needs, it may be a good time to discuss modifying the custody schedule to a new arrangement.

Who can file for a child custody modification in Texas?

Parents or guardians of children may seek a modification, but to make it more likely that the request will be granted, you need to show that you have a good reason for requesting it. Normally, people request child custody modifications because of:

  • Conflicting work schedules
  • Their children’s school schedules
  • Other custody arrangements with their child’s half-siblings or step-siblings
  • Moving to another state
  • Moving to another school district
  • Having conflicts throughout the summer or school year

You should know that you don’t necessarily need to go to court to have the custody arrangement modified. If your ex-spouse is willing to modify the arrangement in a way that works for you, both of you can agree to changes in a legal document provided by your attorney. That modification request will be sent to the court to be approved and signed by a judge.

In the case that you and the other parent cannot agree on a new schedule, you will likely need to attend a hearing or trial. A judge, jury or associate judge will then hear your request and decide if the custody order you already have in place should be modified. Your attorney can help you prepare if you will need to take your request to trial, since you will need to show why the modification is necessary and why the modification is in your child’s best interests.