A final order will probably not be a workable solution for the next several years. Many things can trigger a modification of a final order. Jobs are obtained and lost, parents move and children grow up. It is with this understanding that the court allows the modification of orders.
Modifications are not always easy to acquire. The court must be shown proof as to why this change is necessary. At The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., our lawyers are skilled negotiators and accomplished trial litigators. We use this experience and our familiarity with the court system to guide our clients through their dilemma in the most efficient manner possible. In short, we understand the types of things the court is looking for in regard to a modification.
Texas Lawyers dealing in suits to modify any aspect of the orders, including:
- Primary conservatorship
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Parental Relocation
Do not hesitate to schedule a confidential consultation at our office in North Texas or West Texas to discuss your options for modifying an aspect of your order.
Modification of Primary Conservatorship
The court may modify an order to allow your child to reside with you instead of the other parent if a modification would be in the child’s best interest and one of the following applies:
- The circumstances of the child, a conservator, or other party affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order; or
- The child is at least 12 years of age and has expressed to the court in chambers as provided by Family Code Section 153.009 the name of the person who is the child’s preference to have the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence; or
- The conservator who has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.
The child’s best interest has been defined as the environment that will have the most desirable or favorable effect on the child. In determining whether modification is in the child’s best interest, the court may weigh all factors bearing directly or indirectly on the child’s physical, emotional, mental, educational, social, moral, or disciplinary welfare and development.
A skilled attorney at our law firm will evaluate your particular situation to determine if one of the factors listed above is applicable to your particular case. We evaluate your circumstances and determine how to best persuade the opposing party or court to grant you primary conservatorship. Issues such as your child’s emotional and physical needs, parenting abilities, stability of the parent’s home, and the plans and outside resources available to each parent are things that our legal team will evaluate. At the conclusion of this evaluation our firm will guide you in the best course of action to win primary conservatorship of your child.
Modification of Visitation
Judges have particularly wide latitude in establishing the specific terms and conditions of visitation and conservatorship. Most often a possessory conservator (the parent who visits the child) will be awarded visitation pursuant to a standard possession order. In general, a standard possession order allows the parent to visit the child on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month. In addition, the parent will have specified dates in the summer and holidays. If your child is under the age of three the court may order periods of visitation that are more limited.
Every client is different and every child custody modification will depend on your particular circumstances. In some instances, your current visitation schedule may not be working for you or your child. Perhaps you need more time with your children or the other party has been making things difficult regarding the time spent with your child. If this is the case, our skilled team of lawyers can advise you regarding what your options are and how we can ensure that moment that you spend with your children is valuable.
Modification of Child Support
The court may modify a child support decree (including an order for health care coverage) if the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the decree have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order. There are several circumstances that will support a modification of child support including a change in custody, changes in income, and changes in your child’s needs.
The court may modify a child support order if all of the following are true:
- It has been three years since the order was rendered or last modified.
- The monthly amount of the child support award under the order differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded under the child support guidelines.
- The order was not an agreed order that provided for an amount of support that differed from the guideline amount.
Even if these criteria are not met, if modification is in the child’s best interest, the court may consider the child support guidelines for single and multiple families. In the alternative, to decrease support, a court will look at the decrease in the obligor’s income, health problems of the obligor, or whether the obligor has had other children since the original order.
Removing or Implementing Special Rules Regarding Children
In some instances our clients have very unique requests. For example, some parents do not want certain individuals around their children. Other parents would like to have the child’s medication delivered. Regardless of the special requests that are necessary to keep your children safe, our team at The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., believe that no matter is too small. We will negotiate and, if necessary, litigate with the opposing party to ensure that you have a legally binding court order at your disposal.
Modification of Spousal Maintenance
The court may modify an original or modified maintenance order on a proper showing of a material and substantial change in circumstances of either party. The law provides only that the court may reduce the amount of maintenance. However, it is possible to argue that the court should also be able to increase the amount if the minimum reasonable needs of the recipient have changed materially. Maintenance orders usually expire in time or terminate by provisions stated in the original court order. However, there are some instances in which a court order, after notice and hearing, is necessary to terminate maintenance earlier than provided by the original order. A skilled litigation attorney at The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., can help prove that the spousal maintenance should be terminated. We will fight to prove that the party receiving maintenance lives with another person and therefore, extra income is not necessary. We can also attempt to prove that a disability of the ex-spouse or child has ended or lessened. Often times a party receiving spousal support will attempt to hide these matters. This is why it is important to have a skilled legal team at your disposal to bring these things to the court’s attention.
There is a special subset of modification that deals with parental relocation. In a challenging economy, it is often the case that parents need to move for work, familial support or other reasons. When this becomes necessary, it is important to do it legally through the courts. Contact our offices to learn more about how parental relocation is handled.
Contact Our Flower Mound, Lewisville and Midland-Odessa Child Support Modification Attorney
If you have questions regarding modifications of orders, contact The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., by calling us or by completing the contact form on this website. We offer consultations in English and Spanish and accept most major credit cards for the payment of services.