When a family court issues a final order with regard to child custody, child support, and spousal support, the order will likely address the needs of all family members at that time. As life goes on and parents change careers, move homes, or other circumstances change, these final orders need to be modified to evolve with those they govern.

Child Custody or Visitation Modifications

In Texas, child custody is typically referred to in terms of “access” as related to the title of the parent as either managing conservator or possessory conservator. Many life events can serve as the basis to ask a court to modify a child custody order. Additionally, orders may be changed if there are other changes in circumstances where the current order no longer reflects the child’s best interests. Under Texas law, either parent may file a petition seeking a child custody modification at anytime. The petition must be filed in the court that granted the divorce, unless the child has moved. If this has happened, the case may be transferred to the court in the child’s new county.

For most parents, the child custody orders contained in their final divorce order are the most important orders to come out of their divorce or custody proceedings. A custody order can last until the child’s 18th birthday or until he or she graduates high school. Oftentimes, the circumstances of a parent or a child may materially change during that time, and that may necessitate a modification of the child custody order.

Child Support Modifications

Under the Texas Family Code, there must be proof of a substantial and material change in circumstances affecting the child, parent, or other individual involved with the order to modify the order.

Situations that can necessitate a modification include:

  • Family violence
  • Child abuse
  • A significant change in the medical needs of either parent
  • Either parent has more children he or she is financially responsible for
  • Military deployment
  • Either spouse has become disabled or seriously ill
  • The receiving party remarries or lives with a partner
  • An increase or decrease in income
  • A change in the child’s health insurance
  • A change in the child’s living arrangements

The courts consider the unique details of each case when deciding whether to modify an existing order.

Effective September 1, 2019, Texas maximum guideline child support increased. Courts now consider the first $9,200.00 of monthly earnings by the person paying child support, which can substantially increase monthly child support. To benefit from this increase, the first step is to ask the court to modify your existing order.

Austin Divorce Modifications Attorneys

All members of a family unit will go through changes after a final order is entered, whether divorce, custody, or both. As life happens, it is important to have a Texas family law attorney who can guide you through modifications accurately and with care. At The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner, we will take care of your family law matters during the initial proceedings as well as in the future, should you need modifications based on changed circumstances. Contact the Austin divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner today to discuss your needs.

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