When divorced parents have joint conservatorship they share equal rights with their children: equal time, equal access, equal authority, equal responsibility, equal decision-making power. However, when something happens on one side of the conservatorship that could potentially have a negative impact on the child’s best interest, the other parent may desire to have the custody order changed.
What merits a custody order modification?
A judge must believe there is a substantial reason to modify the original child custody order. Something in the family dynamic must have changed in a drastic way. For example, if one parent is arrested for a DWI and either stays in jail or is seen as a danger to the child riding in the car, the other parent might request a child custody order modification. If a parent suffers a drug addiction relapse or becomes involved in criminal activity, the other parent may want to protect their child from that environment by asking the court to limit that parent’s access to the child. If one parent begins a new dating relationship with a significant other who proves to be bad for the child, the other parent may choose to modify the child custody order.
In other words, a judge will not change the original custody order on a whim or to facilitate revenge on an ex-spouse.
Do you need a lawyer to modify a child custody order?
Because a judge must be the one to modify a custody order, you need a family lawyer to file the motion to modify and help you present your case for a modification. Because such requests can be met with hostility from the other spouse, you will want a lawyer standing by your side to navigate the conflict and bring about some resolution for your family.
What can a judge order in a child custody modification?
In a new custody order, the judge may outline any of the following changes:
- Limit one parent’s access to the child or children
- Change the visitation schedule so that one parent sees less of the child than the other
- Limit the parental rights of one parent in some way
What is necessary for an emergency child custody modification?
If you believe and have evidence to prove that your child’s welfare is in serious jeopardy or their life is in immediate danger, you may request an emergency modification of custody. If a judge orders an emergency modification, it means they will provide a temporary order until a more long-standing one can be obtained. The end goal, of course, is for a long-standing order to be put in place. An emergency order must meet high legal standards.
Lovelace Law Family Lawyers
The attorneys at Lovelace Law who practice family law have experience navigating family legal conflicts to resolution, regardless of what the resolution may be. Any time a family goes to court, it’s a stressful time. You want the lawyer standing by your side to represent your side of the conflict and to work for the best interest of your child. Lovelace Law, P.C. does that for families in Fort Worth and Burleson. Reach out to us to schedule your consultation today.