What Is Modification?
Modification refers to a request by a party to a court order to change,
or modify, the terms of that order. In order for the request to be granted,
the party asking for the change must prove that:
- The circumstances of a party or a child have materially and substantially
changed since the date of the last order or the agreement that led to
that order; and
- The requested modification is in the child’s best interest.
The parent that wants to change the order has the burden to prove those
two elements, among other factors outlined in the Texas Family Code. If
the court believes the elements have been met, the court can change primary
custody, decision-making for the child, visitation, child support, and
any other facets of the order related to the child. This only applies
to the abovementioned terms — the court cannot change a property
division from a divorce by modification.
Child Support Modifications
In addition to the modification standard discussed above, there is an additional
way to change child support that does not apply to visitation or primary
custody. After three years from either the last order date or date of
the agreement, the court can "review" the child support amount
to make sure it is in compliance with the Texas child support guidelines.
The court can also review or modify an order earlier than three years
in certain circumstances.
A modification for child support can be brought at any time as long as
the parent requesting the modification can prove a material and substantial
change of circumstances for one or both of the parties or the child and
that the change is in the child's best interest.
Handling Parental Relocations in Travis & Williamson Counties, Austin,
TX & Surrounding Areas
Commonly called "move cases", parental relocation refers to a
case brought by a parent to relocate with the child out of the area where
the case is taking place. This can be brought during the original case,
whether it is a divorce or the parents are not married, to have a geographic
restriction that allows the primary parent to move with the child out
of the area, or as a modification request to ask the court to change the
geographic restriction to allow a relocation with the child.
Our litigation team has tried many relocation cases to successful results,
both in getting our clients permission to move and in representing the
parent that wants to prevent the move. These cases are complicated and
intricate and you will need an Austin attorney experienced in these cases
to help you achieve the result that you want.
Now is the time to discuss your proposed modification or relocation issue
with a knowledgeable attorney. Call our offices at
(512) 668-7133 to get started.