“Final” Rarely Means Final – Sometimes Modification Of Child Custody Is Necessary
Even though most court orders regarding children are entitled “Final,” as in Final Decree of Divorce, or Final Order Establishing Parentage, when it comes to children nothing is final until the child is at least 18 years old.
Child custody can be modified up until a child reaches the age of 18 no matter what the last order was called. To make a change to the child’s living arrangement or visitation schedule, the parent seeking the change must prove a significant and material change in the circumstances of the child or one of the parents since the last order was signed. It’s not enough that the parent now wants the child to live with him or her; something must be different from the circumstances that existed when the last order was signed.
All The Evidence Will Be Weighed
There is rarely a single factor that guarantees that custody will be modified. Occasionally, a parent is convicted of a crime serious enough to make it futile to oppose a requested modification, but such cases are rare. More often, if an agreement cannot be reached, a judge or a jury is asked to weigh all of the evidence and make a decision based on what the judge or jury believes to be in the child’s best interest.
Experienced Help With Making A Tough Decision
Deciding whether to seek or oppose a modification of child custody or a request for more visitation can be a difficult task. Parents often wonder whether it’s better to work with the current order than upset the whole situation and risk causing a worse relationship with the other parent. I have talked to many parents in that situation and have represented countless parents on both sides of the modification issue. I am happy to listen to your situation and, while only you know what’s best for your child, I can help you to better understand the legal situation, the pros and cons, as you decide whether to seek to modify child custody or visitation, or are responding to such a request.
Contact McNamara Law Office, PLLC now to schedule a consultation with an experienced Texas family law attorney and divorce lawyer.