Modifying divorce or custody orders in Texas
Divorce is final, but your circumstances can change long afterward. Post-divorce modifications are designed to help people adjust certain elements of their divorce decree, such as child support, spousal maintenance, or child custody.
In order to get a modification, you (or your former spouse) must demonstrate a material and substantial change in your personal circumstances. This might include:
- A new job, especially if it requires you to move
- A significant decrease in your income
- Relocation (moving far away)
- You or your child has become ill
Regardless of the specific reason behind your request, you must establish a cause. This is called a “change in circumstances” and the court will not approve the modification without it.
Child Support & Child Custody Modifications in Texas
When it comes to divorce, child custody and child support are two of the most important—and most complicated—issues you’ll face. Although agreements regarding your children should be in your child’s best interest, “best interest” at the time of the divorce may not be the same as their best interest several years later.
In Texas, you can modify your child support order for two reasons:
- You or your ex-spouse underwent a material and substantial change in circumstances; or
- It has been at least three years since the original order
Regarding child support modifications, the term “material and substantial change” is similar to the justifications for any other post-divorce modification. Often, the change in circumstances is financial, such as an increased or decreased income, or a change in medical insurance. You may also be able to ask for a modification if you or your former spouse becomes responsible for additional children.