OPEN PRACTICE AREAS

Family Law

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas Stands by You Every Step of the Way

Skillfully representing clients in all order modifications

Court orders related to children can usually be modified. Over time, a child’s or family’s needs or circumstances may change, which may justify a change in a family law order. A Texas family law lawyer can assist with the process of seeking a judicial modification of a family law order, such as possession, access or child support.

At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, our Fort Worth family law attorneys are dedicated to providing comprehensive information about the process of modifying a family law order. We can discuss the proof that is necessary to bring about a modification and what your rights are in any given situation.


Modification in less than one year

Texas courts are hesitant to modify a court order soon after it was established or last modified. Therefore, to modify an order regarding the child’s residence in less than a year, you must meet additional requirements. One of these requirements is to complete an affidavit that accompanies your petition to modify the order. This affidavit must include facts that allege one of the following:

  • The child’s current environment may endanger his or her health or emotional development;

  • The person who has possession of the child is the one seeking or consenting to change the child’s residence; or

  • The person who has possession of the child has voluntarily relinquished possession of the child for at least six months and the change is in the child’s best interest.

When orders may be modified

If parents agree to the modification, it can be changed at any time and for any reason. The parents simply submit a proposed order that reflects their changes. The court reviews the proposed order and may approve it, which then becomes aa legally enforceable order.

If the parents do not agree on modification, the parent petitioning the court must show that the child is 12 or older and wants to change the parent who has primary possession. Alternatively, the parent has to show that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and that the requested change would serve the child’s best interests.

Examples of a material and substantial change include:

  • Change in the parent’s marital status

  • Job relocation

  • Unemployment

  • Abuse of the child

  • Neglect of the child

  • Substance abuse

  • Mediation conditions

The parent petitioning the court has the responsibility of showing this change and that modifying the order is in the child’s best interests. Absent this proof, the court will not make the change.

Modifying a child support order

For a Texas family law court to modify a child support order, the parties must agree to the modification, it must have been at least three years since the last child support order or a substantial change must have occurred after the last order that justifies a modification.

The court will typically modify the child support order if the change is greater than 20% or $100 of the currently awarded amount. A substantial change may include:

  • The income of one or both parents changes

  • The child develops a serious medical condition

  • The child has a learning disability that requires continued care

  • The paying parent becomes disabled

Contact our dedicated Fort Worth family lawyers if you have questions about order modification

Parents who seek a modification face an uphill battle in trying to convince the judge to change a previous order. It can also be difficult for a parent on the receiving end to receive notification of a petition to modify an order and can potentially disrupt the stability that has been established through previous court orders. Regardless of which side of the dispute you are on, it is important to have a strong legal advocate on your side who can explain your rights and how the laws may impact your case. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker at 817-332-7703 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.