When a Texas judge issues a custody order, both parents must abide by the rules outlined in the order. Family circumstances can and will likely change after a judge enters that order, and one or both parents may need to ask to revisit the order and adjust it to better reflect their current circumstances.
There are many times when seeking a modification of your custody order will be a good move for you as someone who shares parental responsibilities with your ex.
As the children grow older
Children who are not yet enrolled in school have very few restrictions on their time and require a lot of attention from parents or paid caregivers. When they enter grade school, you will have to reconsider the way that you’ve split up parenting time.
It is also common for children to have different schedules when they start middle school or high school. This is especially true as teenagers start adding extracurricular activities to their schedules.
When your career changes
Maybe you have long juggled two part-time jobs while you pursued a college degree. Perhaps your career took a backseat to responsibilities for your kids until they started school. When you have a new schedule that affects your availability for the children, you may need to ask the court to modify the custody arrangements.
When you and your ex can agree to a more even split
It is common for judges to give one parent more time with younger children to facilitate a well-developed primary attachment. When children are older, it makes sense for parents to share their responsibilities more evenly. Talking about your children’s changing needs with your ex could lead the two of you to request a more even division of parenting time in a modification.
Under Texas law, you can request an uncontested modification to an agreement with your ex. You can also request a contested modification if you want changes they don’t agree with, provided that there have been significant changes in your family circumstances. Knowing about your rights under the law to update your custody order is crucial as a parent sharing responsibilities with your ex.