In the months and years after a divorce or custody matter, the circumstances of the parties and their children will almost certainly change. If those changes are significant enough, they may warrant a modification of the original order for custody or support.
Modifications of custody and support may be necessary, but they can also cause upheaval in the life of a child. Therefore, a court needs to find a good reason to modify a child support or custody order. The attorneys of May and May work with parents seeking modification of child support and child custody orders. We will advise you specifically as to how the law applies to your situation, and do everything possible to ensure that your custody or support order reflects your family's current needs.
There is great potential for chaos and disruption if someone could request a modification of an order any time they felt like it. Parents could drag each other into court out of spite, rather than to serve any real interest of their children. In order to promote stability and avoid frivolous court actions, there are certain parameters for seeking modifications.
For custody modifications, parents must, as a general rule, wait a year from the time the current order was issued in order to request a modification. In addition, there must be a "material and substantial" change that warrants a change in custody; it cannot simply be that the non-custodial parent feels it is "their turn" to have custody.
Of course, there are some situations in which waiting a year to seek a change in custody could endanger a child, such as if the custodial parent begins living with a romantic partner who is abusive to the child. If the current custodial environment risks harming the child's physical health or emotional development, the court may consider an earlier modification of custody.
In order to modify child support, one of two scenarios must exist. The first is that it has been at least three years since the current order was issued or modified, and that the amount of support currently ordered differs by either $100 or 20% from the amount the child support guidelines would currently recommend. The second scenario is that there has been a "material and substantial" change in circumstances since the previous order. An example of this might be an illness that decreased the paying parent's ability to work while increasing his or her medical expenses.
The attorneys of May and May represent parents in Collin County and Denton County in modification of Texas child support, custody and visitation matters. We understand that life is unpredictable, and work to bring your orders in line with the reality your family is facing at this moment in time
Attorney Marc May is Board Certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has over 30 years of practice experience in family law matters, including child support and custody.
May and May serves clients in Collin County, Denton County, and the surrounding areas of North Texas. We invite you to explore our website and to contact our law firm to learn more about how we can help you.