Can I Modify My Child Custody Order After Divorce?

Changing Child Custody

Yes – you can seek to modify the child custody (possession) portion of your final decree of divorce after your divorce.

This article provides information on common situations in which a parent may seek to modify their child’s possession schedule as well as the legal requirements to successfully get a modification.

A court may modify a prior order more than once. This means that a parent may also seek to modify a prior modification order as well.

Why Parents Seek Modifications

There are almost limitless reasons a parent may seek to modify the possession schedule for their children that in their final decree of divorce.

Modifications are common after divorce if parents divorce when their children are young because a lot can change in 18 years for both parents and children.

Some common reasons a parent might seek to change their child custody order include:

  1. a change in a parent’s work or work schedule;
  2. a change in the child’s schedule;
  3. the other parent no longer participate’s in the child’s life;
  4. the child’s health or safety is at risk;
  5. there is a change in the environment the child lives in while in either parent’s possession; or
  6. a parent is moving for work or other reasons.

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Legal Grounds For Modifying Child Custody

In Texas, there are three different grounds by which a parent can seek to modify their child possession order.

The first is if the circumstances of the child or a parent have materially and substantially changed since the final decree of divorce or a prior modification order was signed.

The second ground is if the child is at least 12 years of age and expresses to the court that the child prefers that a different parent have the exclusive right to determine the child’s residence.

The third ground is if the parent who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child in the prior order has relinquished primary care and possession of the child for at least six months.

No matter which ground a parent seeks to modify the possession order under, the parent seeking modification must also show to the court that the modification sought is in the best interest of the child.

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss modifying your possession order, then please send me an e-mail or send a request through my contact page.

Bryan Willis
Can I Modify My Child Custody Order After Divorce?
author avatar
Bryan Willis
Bryan Willis is a divorce lawyer in Tyler, Texas who also represents clients in probate matters. You should not rely on any content on this website as legal advice.

3 thoughts on “Can I Modify My Child Custody Order After Divorce?

  1. I got married in 2012 in Colorado, had a child in 2013 in Georgia, got divorced in 2016 in Georgia, and then my ex and I,
    Along with our daughter, relocated to texas. When we got divorced, I was the primary caregiver and her dad had every other weekend. I also didn’t work at that time.
    Now our daughter is in school, her father has a business that has grown (plus 2 employees) and I have gotten a job.
    He determines if and when he pays child support, or if he will keep his side of our verbal agreement.

    How do I create an amendment to the custody agreement? How much involvement is required by my ex? I do not believe he would support a legal bind since he has full control over our current situation.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

    1. Thank you for contacting me. This is a public forum so it would be inappropriate for me to respond to detailed information on your case. If you would like to schedule a phone consultation or in person consultation to discuss the details of your situation, then please call me office at (903) 405-4242.

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