When a couple with children gets divorced, there are parts of the divorce decree that specify child custody arrangements, child support owed, and other details relating to the children. However, life is always changing, and sometimes the arrangement that worked for you a year ago no longer makes sense. In such cases, Texas courts may allow for a modification of your child custody agreement.
If you need to make a change to your child custody or support agreement, it is important that you file for a modification with the court even if you and your ex agree on the change. Without an official court order, the original agreement stands, and any violation could result in serious penalties for the parent that violates it.
When you file for a modification with the court that granted your divorce (unless the child has relocated), you will need to prove to the court that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances that makes the modification necessary. The court will use its discretion to determine whether the changes you mention are enough to warrant a modification. Generally, changes in income, changes in job status, increased costs to care for the children, or relocation may be considered material and substantial changes. The court will consider whether granting the modification would be in the best interests of the child.
If your modification is granted with regards to child support, keep in mind that the modification does not apply for amounts owed prior to the filing.
If you are interested in filing a modification, you can consult with a family law attorney in your area to help with the process. It is also in your best interest to continue to adhere to the original agreement until the court has granted your motion for modification.