What Happens When I File for a Custody Modification?

I have extensive experience working with families in custody cases. One of the common themes I’ve seen is that many parents don’t know what they’re getting into when they bring up a suit in order to get additional custody or visitation rights. There’s a lot that goes into this, and you’re going to need to prove to the court that the circumstances since the custody order was issued have changed in your favor.

I want to prepare you for this process. You may believe you deserve more time with your growing children, and I want to support you in this journey. So, what do you need to know?

Location Matters

I’ll briefly touch on this because it’s pretty straightforward: Texas law requires that you file for a modification in the county where the initial court order was filed. If your custody case was in Montgomery County but the whole family now lives in Rockwall County you will still file in Montgomery County. After you file you can then request to have the case transferred to the county where the children currently reside. I can help you take care of the filing process properly.

Be An Open Book

Your initial custody case was likely a very intrusive event. The courts will want to know so much about your life and the people around you. While the court won’t need to rehash all of those details, you will once again need to be open about your circumstances.

The court will ask a lot of questions and you should be ready to answer them. Look at your own situation and consider what aspects of your life can help or hurt you in your custody case. Any attempt to conceal information could be seen as a red flag that can stop your suit in its tracks.

Prepare for a No

You shouldn’t be acting as if any request is a foregone conclusion. In some custody cases, the court will make exactly clear why one parent or the other is receiving less time with their kids. You already know that job status, income, living arrangements, and school are among the major factors that dictate a custody case.

Have the circumstances really changed enough to warrant consideration from the court? If you simply moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment then you still may not stir the interest of the court. However, if you upgraded your living arrangements and no longer work overnight hours while maintaining a full-time job then you may have enough to go off.

There’s a chance the court refuses to hear your case or quickly dismisses it. You should prepare for the possibility that nothing changes while understanding that you should always try to shape your life around the time you want to have with your kids. Keep working even if you get a no because a no today may not be a no tomorrow.

The Child’s Best Interests Take Precedence

Texas courts are required to act in the best interest of the children. This means all the circumstantial changes in the world may not matter if the court determines that these circumstances still don’t serve the best interests of the child.

If you have the opportunity to do so, you should talk to your kid(s) ahead of time. Their wants and needs will take center stage, so you should gauge whether or not they actually want to come live with you or spend more time with you. Do they feel safe in your home or around the people you spend time with? Are you able to provide them with the resources they need to succeed in school and socially?

I have seen enough of these cases to prepare you for what’s to come. My law firm, Erinakes Law, can help you mediate the issue so you don’t have to go through another big day in court or I can help you litigate the issue in the courtroom. I want to carry the load of your case so you don’t have to. Contact the firm for an attorney with compassion, integrity, and reliability.

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Erinakes Law, PLLC

Erinakes Law is a dependable Texas family law firm dedicated to helping you resolve your legal matter. I will work closely with you to hone in on your goals and come up with a strategy to find the best outcome for you, your finances, and your children. I have experience in negotiation, mediation, and litigation to resolve your case and protect your rights at every step along the way. These skills will be important to get the result you want, especially when dealing with challenging co-parenting scenarios.

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