Parents who have negotiated or litigated custody arrangements in Texas may have obligations to one another and to their children. The law in Texas requires that parents uphold the existing custody order to the best of their ability. They also have an obligation to communicate with one another about the children’s needs and any major upcoming decisions.
Despite the best intentions of the adults in a family, a custody order may eventually become outdated. When the existing custody order no longer meets the needs of the family members, they may need to discuss a modification. When are custody modifications theoretically an option for parents with shared custody in Texas?
When they agree on the necessary changes
Everyone in the family may be acutely aware of how the children’s needs or the parents’ schedules have recently changed. Factors outside of the parents’ control can complicate their co-parenting relationship and possibly cause conflict. Sometimes, parents who recognize the challenges their family faces can cooperate for an uncontested custody modification. When the parents agree on the new terms for custody arrangements, they can submit straightforward documents to the courts to update their existing division of parental rights and responsibilities.
When the changes are necessary and benefit the children
Parents do not always see eye-to-eye when discussing the need to change custody arrangements for their sharing children. If they disagree, the parent proposing the modification can file paperwork with the family courts. A judge can review the situation carefully, including the current custody order and the proposed changes. They can then make a determination based on what they believe would be in the best interest of the children. Scenarios involving improved parental relationships, issues with neglect and changing personal schedules might all warrant a custody modification according to Texas family law statutes.
The parent proposing the modification typically needs to present their arguments in a very specific manner to convince the courts that the changes would be in the best interest of the children. Someone responding to an unwanted modification would need to use a similar perspective when pushing back on the necessity or appropriateness of proposed changes.
Learning about when a custody modification may be possible could help parents preserve their relationship with their children and more effectively serve their best interests.