Generally, a parent seeking modification of a Texas custody order must show that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and that the modification is in the child’s best interest. The determination of whether there has been a material and substantial change of circumstances is fact specific. By way of example, a material and substantial change in circumstances may include a parent’s remarriage or, when there is a request for a change in child support, a change in income. A father recently appealed a modification order that permitted the mother to relocate with the children.
The parties’ agreed divorce decree named the parties joint managing conservators and granted the mother the right to designate the children’s primary residence. Subsequently, the mother petitioned for modification in 2022 because she wanted to move to Maine with the children. Following trial, the trial court granted the modification. Specifically the trial court ordered modified the children’s geographic restriction to include Maine, modified the father’s possession and access, and awarded the mother child support.
The father appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion because there had been no substantial or material change in the parties’ or children’s circumstances, and that the move was not in the best interest of the children.