After parents split, the Texas family law court helps them create custody orders to ensure the children have the necessary care. At some point, however, it may become necessary to revisit those original orders.
The process for modifying a custody order and subsequent parenting plan depends largely on the circumstances leading to it.
If the parents agree to the change
The simplest way through a child custody modification is by agreement. If the parents have found that their current arrangement does not work, and they settle on a new one, the court will often grant it in a shorter amount of time.
If the parents do not agree to the modification
The more contentious modification proceedings take longer. When one parent wants more or less time with the child, they will likely have to go before a judge or arbitrator to argue their case. The basis for the change and any evidence will take center stage. If a parent is trying to limit the other parent’s access to the children, then the court will want evidence that doing so is better for the children.
In some cases, the judge may ask the children what they want. Child custody modifications may come on the heels of a child’s request to see more or less of a parent. If a child is at least 12 years old, the judge will take his or her wishes into account. However, family court is mindful of parental manipulation in the custody process.
A child’s desire to modify custody may usurp a parent’s, but only if the court deems that it is better for the child.