Child Custody Modifications

Just as your family changes after a divorce, it is possible to modify child custody and possession orders as well. At the Law Offices of Sharon Merrick, I represent clients in child custody modifications that are necessary due to the changing needs of the children and the family.

When Can Child Custody or Visitation Be Changed?

In Texas, either parent can seek a modification of child custody (known as conservatorship) and visitation if something has changed since your last order. To seek a modification of child custody or possession after divorce, you will go back to the same family court where you received your original order.

After Divorce, Courts Have Continuing Jurisdiction Over Child Custody and Visitation

In determining whether to approve the change, the judge will consider the best interests of your child. Below are some examples of when custody or visitation orders can be changed:

A parent has become unfit due to abuse, neglect or behavior.If the unfit parent is the primary conservator, child custody can change. Visitation can be restricted for an unfit parent.
An older child wishes to live with a different parent.Child custody can be changed.
A child is not doing well at school or home.Child custody can be changed.
Your work schedule changes and you need to see your child at different times.Your visitation schedule can change.
A parent with visitation is not involved with a child's life.Visitation can be reduced or the primary conservator can have sole custody.
A parent is able to have more visits with a child.Visitation can be increased.

Enforcement of Child Custody and Visitation

If a primary conservator does not provide visitation according to the court-ordered schedule, he or she can be taken to court though an enforcement action. If the conservator doesn't comply, he or she can be found in contempt of court.

Relocation After Divorce

Many possession orders include a geographic restriction that prevents a primary conservator from moving out of the area. Examples of a geographical restriction would be restricting residency to a particular school district or a county. With this restriction in place, a residential parent may move a child only with permission of the other parent or the court.

Free attorney consultation: To discuss a modification of child custody or visitation with me, lawyer Sharon Merrick, call 972-591-2323 or fill out the contact form on this website. My law office is in Richardson, Texas.