It's no secret that court orders such as child custody and support judgments can leave a massive impact on your life. Child support orders can significantly affect your financial stability whether you are paying support or receiving support. Your possession and access terms determine how much time you get to spend with your child but may also not represent what you are actually doing as far as visitation.
These court orders rarely remain relevant long-term. The child support or possession order that works for you post-divorce or paternity case may be unsustainable just a few years later. If you or another party involved in one of these orders experiences a material and substantial change in circumstances, you can file a modification case, allowing you to modify the terms of an existing court order to reflect your current situation more accurately.
At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we have the tools and experience to help you pursue an order modification. We'll be by your side every step of the way, helping you build a strong case and fighting for your rights in the courtroom.
To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (940) 293-2313.
What Is an Order Modification?
An order modification enables you to change the terms of a court order, such as a child custody, possession and access or support or health insurance arrangement.
In Texas, you can file for a child custody or support modification if:
- Your child is 12 years of age or older and wishes to change the custody arrangement or possession and access schedule (though this is still subject to court approval), or;
- One or both parties or the child involved in the order experience a material and substantial change in circumstances, or;
- Changing the terms of the custody or support order would help further the child's best interests.
As long as you meet one of these requirements, you can file an order modification case.
What Constitutes a Change in Circumstances?
Citing a "material and substantial change in circumstances" is perhaps the most common reason to file for a custody or support order modification.
Some things that may constitute a material and substantial change in circumstance include:
- The noncustodial parent's income decreases or increases, changing the amount they can feasibly pay for child support;
- The noncustodial parent has another child;
- One parent has been exercising more or less possession than what is court ordered;
- One of the parents becomes physically or mentally unwell to the point they cannot care for the child anymore;
- One of the parents abuses or neglects the child;
- One of the parents abuses alcohol or an illegal substance; or,
- Changing the terms of the custody or support order would serve the child's best interests.
Contested vs. Uncontested Modifications
There are two ways to handle an order modification case.
In an uncontested modification (also called an agreed modification), both parties agree that the terms of an existing custody or support order should change, and more importantly, concur on new terms for an existing order. In a contested modification, the parties disagree on either the need to modify an existing court order in the first place or on terms for the modification.
The processes for filing modifications include several steps: with the process for a contested order modification being more complicated. Regardless of which method best suits your particular situation, employing the use of a lawyer will help ensure the best outcome.
At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we can help you navigate your order modification case with confidence. Whether you're working with your co-parent to draft an agreement or want to pursue your case in court, our team will be beside you every step of the way.
Contact us online or via phone at (940) 293-2313 to schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about our services.