Austin Custody Order Modification Attorneys
After a family court makes decisions regarding child custody, changes in the lives of family members might prompt a parent or caregiver to seek modifications to the decisions made by the courts.
The difficulty arises when one parent wants to make changes to the order and the other parent wants things to stay the way they are.
If both parents agree to changes to the custody order and the judge thinks the agreement doesn’t unduly prejudice one side, custody agreements can be changed. It is usually best to have such agreements approved by the family court because then they become enforceable by the court. Agreements made outside of the court are rarely enforceable if one party breaches the agreement.
The family law attorneys at the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm can help you seek changes to your custody order or enforce current orders if a parent doesn’t comply with the decisions of the court. For a no-obligation consultation, fill out our online contact form, or call us today.
Understanding Conservatorship (Custody)
Texas law uses different terminology than other states when it comes to child custody orders. Texas calls each parent a conservator instead of a custodial parent.
In most cases, one parent is appointed by the court as the primary managing conservator, which means they are the custodial parent. This parent has primary custody of the child, receives child support, and lives with the child. The other, noncustodial parent has rights (as specifically stated in the court order) to spend time with the child. In Texas, this parenting time is called possession rights, and they are supposed to be in the best interest of the child.
Why Seek Custody Modification?
There are many reasons a parent might seek custody order modifications. They include significant changes in living conditions, higher income, or the wishes of a parent to relocate. A parent might also seek modifications if they believe the other parent is providing inadequate care. For example, if the spouse with joint custody is in an abusive relationship or a relationship that is unhealthy for the child, the other parent might seek a modification.
Considerations by Family Courts
The decisions of the courts will be highly dependent on the evidence provided by the parent seeking the modification.
The key to custody decisions in the state of Texas is understanding that what is in the best interest of the child trumps what is in the best interest of the parent. It is up to the court to decide what is in the best interest of the child, so it is vital that parents be thorough in their arguments. This is one reason that an attorney is especially helpful in the process. A child custody attorney will be familiar with the process and what courts are likely to consider in custody order modifications.
Most parents – whether they are divorced or never married – recognize it is in the best interest of their children to maintain a practical relationship. They don’t want their children to suffer just because they can’t reconcile their differences or are unable to work together as responsible adults.
If both parents agree on the custody modification, the process is much simpler. But there are still many considerations that both parents must make before entering into a new agreement. Your attorney will be able to investigate your case to determine what will be most beneficial to you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.
Enforcement of Existing Orders
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a parent to disobey an order made by the court. While this can be frustrating for the other parent, there are legal options at their disposal. If a parent doesn’t comply with an order, they can be found in contempt of that court order, which can lead to fines or even jail time.
If you are considering custody order modifications, or if your former spouse isn’t compliant with a court order, we can help. Our Texas family law attorneys will evaluate your situation and help determine the best course of action for you and your children.
Get the Legal Help You Need
If your child custody order no longer fits your situation because your circumstances have changed, contact one of the attorneys at the Austin, TX-based Evans & Herlihy Law Firm. The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm has years of experience representing parents who wish to change or enforce their custody orders. Call today or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free case consultation.