As a child grows older, it is inevitable that circumstances surrounding their life will change. Not only that, but the child’s parents may also go through changes, such as a new home or work. This may especially affect those separated parents who are parenting within the bounds of a child custody order. Fortunately, family courts allow modifications as long as the situation meets specific criteria.
Significant changes in circumstances
While Texas allows parents to petition modifications, they must meet the necessary criteria to modify child custody orders, namely:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances in the child’s or parent’s life.
- The change in circumstance will significantly affect the child’s life.
- The custody order modifications will be in the best interest of the child.
The petitioning parent must provide evidence to establish that the situation meets the criteria above. Only then will the court consider the petition and approve the changes.
Examples of significant changes
How is it determined that the change in circumstances is substantial? Usually, if the parent can expect that the change will affect the child’s life, whether their daily activities or possible opportunities, then it is substantial. More so if it will adversely affect the child’s well-being. Here are common examples of a significant change:
- A parent’s relocation
- A change in a parent’s work schedule
- A parent’s remarriage
- A change in the child’s academic performance
- Risk of abuse and neglect
This is not a closed list, and other substantial changes may warrant alterations in the child custody order. However, the child’s best interest is the essential factor affecting the court’s decision to make modifications.