If you are divorced with kids, negotiating custody is often one of the most stressful prospects to deal with. It is ideal that both parents be equally involved in a child's life, but schedules, living arrangements and other obligations often complicate the matter. A custody agreement is drafted based on the circumstances of each parent. What happens, though, when these circumstances happen to change?
In such situations, a custody modification may be necessary. Depending on the response from your ex and the specifics of your request, you may need to go to court. This is not always the case, however, and there are several ways you may choose to petition for a child custody modification.
Complete all necessary documents
As with any other legal action, a child custody modification will require that you complete paperwork in order to explain why it is necessary and what you are asking the court to do. This may be the most important part of the process, and it is the one where errors are most often committed. Completing all documents correctly is imperative, and hiring a legal representative may help you ensure this.
Serve the other parent with documents
After completing the necessary documents and filing with the court, you must inform your ex of your intentions. You should do this legally by serving them with papers. According to the Texas Secretary of State, this must be done by a sheriff or constable, an adult authorized by the court, a representative or any other legally authorized person.
Go to court or enter mediation
After your ex is made legally aware of your intentions, you may have the opportunity to enter mediation and negotiate your requested modifications to the child custody order. If you are unable to come to an agreement through mediation, your case may be subject to determination in court, and trial proceedings will ensue.