Change is inevitable and constant. The custody agreement that made sense for your family 2, 3, 5, or 10 years ago might not make sense now.
When a “material change in circumstance” occurs it is possible to modify custody arrangements. That can be done by changing the identity of the primary conservator, changing parenting time arrangements, or even changing sole custody arrangements to joint custody arrangements or vice versa.
For example, if the primary conservator falls severely ill such that he or she cannot meet the child’s needs, typically it would become both necessary and desirable to make the other parent the primary conservator, and to adjust parenting time schedules accordingly.
How long does a custody modification take?
It depends on when the custody modification is taking place. The modification can proceed more quickly if it’s been more than about two years since your divorce decree was signed. If your divorce is more recent, the court might give the modification request more scrutiny, seeing it as an attempt to circumvent the court’s original ruling. In Texas there is usually a 1-year waiting period before an agreement can be modified.
After that, it can take several months for the courts to make a decision. You can use that time to work with your attorney to build the most convincing case possible.
How do I prepare for custody modification?
You’ll need to produce proof of the material change in circumstance. Such proof can include paystubs, unemployment documents, medical documents, and witness statements. Your family law attorney will go over the list with you and help you identify the best evidence to make your case. The key is always to demonstrate how you are the better conservator for your child now, rather than to focus on why the other parent is the worse parent.
Is it hard to change a custody agreement?
It depends on the reasons for the change. If you simply want to pull the child out from an existing custody arrangement for personal, arbitrary, or unclear reasons, then yes, it can be very hard to win such a case. But if you have a strong best-interest-of-the-child argument the court is likely to grant your request.
If you’re not sure about the feasibility of your case you can contact your attorneys for a consultation. We’ll tell you whether you have a good chance of a successful modification of custody. Contact Evans Family Law Group in Austin and Bastrop to schedule a consultation today.
Reviews from our custody-modification clients
“I retained Evans Family Law Firm to help me through a custody modification. I knew I was going in asking for the impossible and that the other side would make the process as difficult as possible. Katherine Obando immediately picked up my case and went to work while keeping me informed every step of the way. She was firm but reasonable and took a pragmatic approach to my case. Katherine was able to calm my nerves during depositions and hearings, always adequately preparing me for what to expect. There were no strangers to her in the process, from court clerks, to opposing counsel, to Judges. Katherine is an attorney who truly cares, still checking in on my family long after our case was complete. To say that Katherine got my girls and I everything we were asking for would be an understatement. We walked away with a ruling in our favor and then some….all in the best interest of my children. I would highly recommend Katherine Obando and the entire Evans Family Law Firm if you’re looking for an honest, reliable, and overall genuine group of people who truly care about the client and the best interest of the children.” – Amanda Baker (see review on Google Maps)
“Start with the obvious – if you need an attorney something is most likely not right…That said Jimmy and his team will help you get your problems squared away as quick as our legal system will allow. Had a free consultation and Jimmy provided his direct email and direct cell phone number too incase of emergency. I had to modify my custody agreement – Jimmy and his team quickly drafted the modification order, submitted it, and helped push it along through the frustrating legal system. While I hope to not need a lawyer again – I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to call Jimmy again!” – Mark Johnson (see review on Google Maps)