Experienced Texas Child Custody Modification Attorneys
Things change all the time in life. People get new jobs, they move, and they get divorced and remarried. Children grow older, and as they do, they change schools and become interested in different activities. They reach their teens. They require medical attention. Sometimes, they get in trouble. Each of these things can make it necessary to modify a child custody order. The experienced child custody modification attorneys at the Texas law firm of Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., can help you to obtain a modification or defend against one.
Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., restricts its practice to family law matters, including child custody modification. The firm’s two partners and their associates have substantial family law experience. Shannon Boudreaux, one of the founding partners, has acquired nearly twenty years of experience since her graduation in 2003 from South Texas College of Law, where she was named to the Dean’s list. Her law partner, Kevin Hunter, is also a graduate of South Texas College of Law where he excelled in advocacy, winning two awards. Mr. Hunter served his country in the United States Air Force as a firefighter before becoming an attorney.
Requirements for Child Custody Modification
To begin a child custody modification suit in Texas, the party seeking modification files a petition alleging that a change of custody would be in the best interest of the child. By statute, the best interest of the child is the primary consideration for the court when determining issues of custody and visitation.
Reasons for Modification
To demonstrate that the court should change the prior order, the person who wants to change it must prove at least one of the three things listed below AND prove that the change is in the child’s best interest.
A Material and Substantial Change – here has been a “material and substantial” change in the circumstances of the child or any of the persons who have custody or visitation with the child, since the earlier of one of two events:
- The date that the court rendered the custody order; or
- If the case was settled by mediation or collaborative law, the date of the settlement agreement.
The Child’s Request – A child who is at least 12 years old may tell the judge in chambers (the judge’s office) with whom the child would like to live. The child’s decision is not binding on the judge because the judge must also conclude that what the child wants is also in the child’s best interest.
Relinquishment of Child – The person with custody of a child has voluntarily relinquished the child to another person for at least six months. This ground for child custody modification may not apply if the person with custody had to relinquish because of military deployment, mobilization or temporary duty.
Child Custody Modification Within One Year
If a person requests modification of a custody order within one year of the prior court order or settlement agreement, the person seeking the child custody modification must attach a sworn affidavit to the petition for modification. The affidavit must make at least one of the following allegations and support the allegations with facts:
- The child’s present environment may endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.
- The person with custody of the child is the one asking for modification, or consents to it, and the modification is in the best interest of the child.
- The person with custody of the child has voluntarily relinquished the child for at least six months and the modification is in the child’s best interest.
If the person who files the petition for child custody modification does not include an affidavit, or the judge finds the affidavit insufficient, then the court may dismiss the case without having a hearing. If the person wanting to modify has met the affidavit requirement, then the case will proceed.
Don’t File a Frivolous or Harassing Child Custody Modification Request
By its very nature, child custody modification cases are very emotional. At times, emotions can get away from us, and it is possible that a person might seek a modification that, in the eyes of Texas family courts, is unwarranted to the point that it is considered frivolous. Alternatively, the court might find that the suit was designed to harass a party. In these situations, the court has the power to assess attorney’s fees and costs against the person who filed the suit.
If you, or one of your loved ones, becomes involved in child custody litigation, you should consult with an experienced child custody modification attorney to assess your position and to help you as needed. Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C. is comprised of child custody attorneys who stand ready to help you.
Work With a Team Who Truly Cares
Talk to Our Attorneys Before Filing for a Custody Modification in Texas
In some cases, spouses can reach an agreement about all relevant issues without a court hearing. This is often accomplished through mediation. In contentious cases, however, this is not possible. When a couple is unable to work out these issues on their own, their only option is to litigate the case in court.
You Don't Have to Face This Difficult Time Alone
Are you ready to discuss your case with an experienced child custody modification lawyer in Texas? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We understand how difficult it can be to go through a divorce, even if you are the one who made the decision. Our entire staff is here to offer the support, guidance, and compassionate representation you deserve.