Custody and Child Support Modification

Child Support and Visitation Modification in Houston, Texas

Tackling the complexities of family law in Houston, Texas, especially when it involves modifications to child support and visitation, can be challenging and emotionally taxing. Whether you’re facing significant changes in your life circumstances or need adjustments due to the evolving needs of your child, understanding how to approach these modifications is crucial for ensuring the best outcomes for your family.

This page provides essential information and guidance on modifying child support and visitation orders in Houston, Texas. You’ll find detailed answers to common questions about the grounds for modification, the legal process involved, and strategies to strengthen your case. Rudisel Law Firm empowers parents with knowledge and confidence as they seek to adjust their legal responsibilities and rights to better align with their current family dynamics and ensure the well-being of their children.

FAQs for Texas Child Custody & Support Modification

Can custody, visitation, and child support be changed after a divorce decree is final?

Yes. Either parent may file a motion to modify with the court that last entered an order regarding the children. If the children have lived in a different county for six months, the parent filing the modification motion or responding to it may also file a motion to transfer the case to that county.

Custody and Visitation Modification Lawyer in Houston, TX

When will a court change the amount of child support?

Child support can be increased or decreased if there has been a substantial change in either parent’s financial situation or the needs of the children.  A change in child support is also justified if it has been three years or more since the support order was issued or last changed, and the amount of support should be changed by 20% or $100 a month according to the child support guidelines.  For example, a father paying child support might seek a modification if he is laid off and ends up with a much lower-paying job or is injured and cannot work at all.  On the other hand, a woman who is receiving child support might seek an increase if the father is earning much more than he did at the time of the order.

When can custody and visitation be modified?

If the parents are currently joint managing conservators of the children, the court may change who has primary possession and/or the visitation schedule if the circumstances of the child or one or both parents have materially and substantially changed or the current order has become unworkable or inappropriate.  Failure to give notice of address changes or an inability to pick up the kids may also justify changes.

Can joint managing conservatorship be changed to sole managing conservatorship or vice versa?

Yes.  A court can replace one parent as the sole managing conservator or switch from a sole managing conservator to a joint conservator.  To make such a change, the court would have to find that the circumstances of the child or a parent have materially and substantially changed and that such a change would be an improvement for the child.  Changing a sole managing conservatorship within one year of an order requires showing that the child’s present environment may endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.

What are the grounds for custody modification in Texas?

In Texas, grounds for custody modification include a significant change in circumstances of the child, a parent, or the current custodian. This could include changes in employment, relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or issues like abuse or neglect.

Who wins most child custody cases?

There is no definitive answer as to who “wins” most custody cases, as each case is decided based on the child’s best interests. Texas courts aim for arrangements that support the child’s physical, emotional, and educational well-being, without preference based on the parent’s gender.

How to win a custody modification case in Texas?

To win a custody modification case, you must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances since the last order and that the proposed change is in the best interest of the child. Strong evidence, including witness testimony and documentation, can support your case.

How long does child support modification take in Texas?

The duration can vary widely, but generally, a child support modification might take several months. The process involves filing a petition, serving the other parent, and potentially attending a court hearing.

What makes a parent unfit for custody in Texas?

A parent may be deemed unfit if they have issues with substance abuse, a history of domestic violence, neglect, or abuse towards the child, or if they are unable to provide a stable and safe environment.

What do judges look at when deciding custody in Texas?

Judges consider factors including the wishes of the child (if of suitable age and maturity), the emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future, any emotional and physical danger to the child, the parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody, and the stability of the home environment.

What is the minimum child support in Texas?

The minimum child support guideline in Texas typically starts at 20% of the non-custodial parent’s net income for one child, and increases with additional children. This percentage can vary based on the parent’s financial situation and the specific needs of the child.

What is the new law on child support in Texas?

As of the latest updates, Texas periodically adjusts guidelines to account for inflation and changes in the cost of living. It’s best to check with a legal professional or the Texas Attorney General’s office for the most recent changes relevant to your situation.

What does it mean to modify a parent-child relationship in Texas?

Modifying a parent-child relationship in Texas means changing the terms of custody, visitation, or child support as established in a previous court order. This usually requires showing a substantial and material change in circumstances.

Do mothers have more rights than fathers in Texas?

No, Texas law does not favor mothers over fathers. Both parents have equal rights regarding custody and visitation, unless court orders dictate otherwise based on the best interests of the child.

At what age can a child decide not to go with a parent in Texas?

In Texas, a child’s preference can be considered by the court at any age, but the child’s wishes are not foremost until they are 12 years old or older. Even then, the court will make the final decision based on what is best for the child.

Can a mother legally keep her child away from the father in Texas?

A mother cannot legally keep a child away from the father without a valid court order. If both parents have legal rights, withholding a child from the other parent without cause can result in legal consequences.

Contact a qualified Houston Divorce Lawyer here at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for a complimentary consultation to discuss Child Custody and its effects on Divorce in Houston, Texas.

Contact Today for Your Free Case Evaluation. 713-781-7775

For child support or visitation modifications in Houston, Texas, call The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. We can modify your existing order to better suit your needs and those of your children.