Unlike some states, Texas uses different terminology with regards to child custody which may seem somewhat odd at first. For example, Texas family law courts use the term conservatorship to refer to the right of a parent to make determinations regarding a child’s medical, educational and psychiatric needs.
Additionally, the terms possession and access are used by Texas family law courts to refer to actual child custody and the visitation of the child by another parent. For example, the parent with whom the child resides for the majority of the year would be described as having primary possession of the child, whereas the other parent would be said to have access to the child.
Changes in circumstances can occur throughout the course of a person’s life. Perhaps you have been promoted at your job and are now earning more money than you were at the time of the original child custody determination. Or maybe you have relocated closer to where your child now resides since the original determination and you would like to have greater access.
Texas law permits modification of child custody orders. Here are some 4of the factors used to determine changes in the existing order:
— The circumstances of the child the conservator or the other party affected by the original order has changed substantially since the original order was determined.
— The child is at least 12-years-old and has expressed to the judge, in private, that he or she wishes to live with the other parent.
— One or both parents have been convicted of child abuse and now a modification is necessary in the child support order to protect the safety and welfare of the child.
These are only some of the larger factors considered when attempting to modify a child custody order. You should learn more about petitioning for a child custody modification if you feel it is is in the best interest of your child.
Source: Texas Family Code Title 5, Chapter 156, “The parent-child relationship and the suit affecting the parent-child relationship” Aug. 12, 2014