A Texas custody order may only be modified in certain circumstances. The parents may agree to change the order. The court may order modification if the child is at least twelve years old and wants to change which parent has primary custody. Otherwise, the parent seeking the modification must generally show that there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the child or a parent since the current order was rendered. The court must consider the facts and circumstances of the specific case to determine if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances. Common situations that may lead to a material and substantial change in circumstances include marriage, a change in employment, or relocation of a parent’s primary residence. Courts have also recognized changes related to the relationship between the parent and child, including abuse, mistreatment, or “poisoning the child’s mind.” In all cases, the modification must be in the child’s best interest.
Mother and Father Agree to Custody Modification
In a recent case, a father challenged a modification sought by the mother. According to the appeals court’s opinion, the parents divorced in 2012 and entered into an agreed order to modify custody in 2016. Pursuant to the 2016 modification, the mother was given the right to determine the children’s residence within a specified geographic restriction. The father was awarded custody beyond the standard order. The agreed order did not require either parent to pay child support.
After one of the children broke an arm, the mother moved to modify that order and the court entered the modification in 2018. The new order required the father to pay child support and changed his custody schedule. He appealed.