Life Keeps Changing After Divorce
People’s lives change more rapidly than ever. Long-term unemployment, remarriage, a job that requires you to move to another city or state, or any number of other factors can make an initial court order in a divorce unrealistic.
At the Tracton Law Firm, PLLC , in Sugar Land, I have represented clients in post-divorce modification matters for more than 35 years. Of course, not all modifications make sense, which is why I also represent individuals who want to block a modification request.
Modifications To Existing Orders
In Texas, parties can move to modify a divorce by mutual agreement or by a showing of changed circumstances or fraud. However, modifications to existing orders are not automatically approved. Generally, courts modify ongoing obligations more readily than property division.
A verbal agreement between spouses to change an aspect of the original divorce decree is not enough. Deviation from a divorce decree that is not court-approved is not enforceable. It is always wise to involve a lawyer and have any modifications approved by the court.
Child Custody Modification
Texas law allows modifications in a child custody order upon a showing of material and substantial change in a parent’s circumstances if the modification is shown to be in the best interests of the child. Courts have ruled that remarriage, a disabling medical condition, criminal acts or change of residence are sufficient to cause to consider a modification.
Circumstances that may support a child custody modification include:
- A parent’s move out of the geographic area
- A parent’s medical condition or disability
- A special need on the part of the child such as education or medical requirement
- A parent’s addiction to alcohol or drugs
- A parent’s failure to exercise parenting time with the child
- A development change in the child that indicates a need to change custody or shared parenting arrangements
- A child’s wishes
Child Support Modification
Regarding requests for changes to child support, the party asking for modification must show proof of a material and substantial change in the circumstances of either the child or a parent. Courts accept proof of a substantial increase or decrease in one parent’s income or a substantial increase in a child’s expenses.
Learn Why A Court-Approved Modification Is Essential
It’s a good idea to retain the services of an experienced Sugar Land divorce modification attorney who can properly support your request and supply the necessary documentation. Verbal agreements between former spouses is not sufficient. I have a thorough knowledge of the procedure and circumstances that must be shown to amend a court order.