For some parents, working out a child custody agreement can take months of negotiations and hard work. Although the agreement may have taken a long time to reach, that does not mean it is set in stone. Parents may be able to request a custody modification.
Reasons for Custody Modification
There are a variety of reasons why parents request a modification. Among the most common are:
Change in a Parent's Circumstances:
Texas courts take into account the uncertainties in life that affect parents. For example, an unexpected job loss or a long-term illness can decrease a parent's income and the ability to provide for the child's daily needs.
Termination of Parental Rights:
Custodial parents may voluntarily give up their parental rights to someone else. This may occur when parents refuse to support their children and essentially abandon them. It also happens when a single pregnant woman gives up rights to her baby so the child can be adopted at birth.
A Child Wants to Live with the Other Parent:
Children 12 years old and older can tell the court which parent they want to live with or request a custody change. A judge can interview the child in chambers, but the child does not have the last word on the matter. The judge decides based on whether the change is in the child's best interest.
Child Abuse or Substance Abuse:
A custodial parent may lose the child when the non-custodial parent has confirmed accounts of child abuse and neglect or excessive drug or alcohol use by the custodial parent. If a child custody agreement is part of a court order, parents must provide proof to the court for their reasons for change and how it will affect their child. This is to prevent bringing false accusations against the non-custodial parent.
Judge's Decision Based on What's Best for the Child:
No matter the reasons parents give for wanting to modify custody, a judge takes into account whether the change will be in the best interest of the child. Generally, judges weigh whether the change affects a child mentally, emotionally, socially, and in other ways before granting or denying a child custody modification request.
A Child Custody Attorney Can Help
If you are considering modifying your custody agreement, it's a good idea to speak with a Woodlands child custody attorney. At Parchman Law Group, we will explain your rights and options for custody. Don't hesitate to contact our firm if you have any questions regarding your child custody case.
If you need legal assistance with a child custody matter, call Parchman Law Group today at (713) 364-0777.