Child Visitation Modification
Typically, people who have a child together but are not romantically involved will share custody and visitation rights pursuant to a court order. The courts take great care in determining what is in the best interest of a child by evaluating numerous factors, and will develop an order based on their assessment. Situations can change, though, and visitation orders that once were appropriate no longer benefit the children in question. If you or your child’s co-parent want a child visitation modification, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your options. The knowledgeable Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to pursue an outcome that is in the best interest of your child and allows you to exercise your parental rights.Grounds for Seeking a Child Visitation Modification
Conservatorship and access are the terms Texas uses for custody and visitation, respectively. In many instances, even though one parent is named as the primary conservator both parents will have relatively equal rights to access to the child. Typically, possession and access rights are defined by a court order. Such orders can only be modified in limited circumstances. Initially, a party seeking a child visitation modification must show that it is in the child’s best interest, as that is the court’s driving concern in any case involving conservatorship and access.
The request for the change must also be based on one of the reasons enumerated under the Texas Family Code. For example, a parent may seek a request when either the child or either parent’s circumstances have significantly and materially changed since either the current order was issued or the date the settlement agreement the current order is based on was signed, whichever is earlier. Situations that may constitute a change sufficient to warrant a modification in a parenting plan include a change in the health of either parent or the child, relocation or marriage of a parent, or instances of child abuse or domestic violence.
A party can also seek a modification in cases where the child the order pertains to is twelve or older and has expressed a preference regarding who should have the sole right to designate his or her primary residence. Finally, modifications can be sought in cases where the primary conservator voluntarily relinquished the primary possession and care of the child to another individual for a minimum of six months. Relinquishment is not grounds for a modification, though, if it was caused by military duty, mobilization, or deployment.Seeking a Modification
A party seeking a change to an existing order must file a petition to modify the parent-child relationship. If the other parent agrees to the proposed modification and the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child, it will likely grant an order making the requested change. Similarly, if a co-parent does not respond to the petition and defaults, the case will be handled as if the petition was uncontested. If the co-parent objects to the request, however, the court will hold a hearing during which each party can present testimony and evidence, after which it will determine whether the modification should be granted based upon what the court deems to be in the best interest of the child.Speak to a Trusted Attorney in Dallas
Many parents have to share child custody and visitation rights, and what was once an appropriate order may have to be modified as situations change. If you or your co-parent intend to seek a modification to your child visitation order it is advisable to speak to a lawyer about your rights as soon as possible. The trusted attorneys of McClure Law Group are mindful of the importance of obtaining a visitation schedule that benefits your child, and if you hire us, we diligently pursue your desired outcome. We regularly assist people with custody issues in Dallas, Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Garland, Irving, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also represent parties in family law cases in cities throughout Dallas, Tarrant, Grayson, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 214.692.8200 to schedule a conference.