It may be possible to modify or change your custody order if:
- It is in the best interests of the child
- The parents agree to it (Click here to learn more about primary concerns that divorcing parents have)
- If the child who is at least 12 years old agrees to it
- There has been a considerable change in the circumstances of the child or parent
A change in circumstances can mean several things and can be demonstrated in court in different ways.
A modification begins with a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship which is filed in the clerk’s office where the original orders were filed. After filing, all the other parties involved need to sign a Waiver of Citation with a notary, file their own Answer, or receive Service of Citation by an official process server. (Is it time to change your child custody order?)
What if the orders are less than 12 months old?
If your custody orders are less than a year old and you desire a change, you will need to file a sworn statement which explains why the modification is needed.
You will be made to show why any of the following is true:
- The present environment the child lives in is dangerous in some way
- The Home-parent agrees to the changes and the changes are best for the child
- The Home-Parent allowed another person to have primary custody for at least six months and the changes are best for the child (Click here for advice if you are seeking primary custody)
Unless one of the parties files a Motion to Confer with Child, your child will not need to appear in court. These motions typically are filed when the child, or one of the children, is 12 or older and wishes to express who they would like to live with to the court. Otherwise, it is never a good idea to bring your child to the court for any family matters.
- Should You Seek Full Custody?
- Your Custody Battle: Several Things You Should Not Do
- Appealing a Child Custody Case
If you need legal advice about changing your current custody order, call the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard. Our Killeen divorce attorney can provide you with the counsel to make the best decision for your situation.