In Texas, courts may award parents sole, joint or split custody, which may be physical or legal. At the beginning of the custody determination process, the court views both you and the other parent as being on equal footing and considers multiple factors to decide what arrangement is in your kids’ best interest.
Judges tend to prefer joint custody to allow the children the opportunity to maintain their relationships with both parents. However, this is not always the case and even if the arrangement is originally joint, you have the option of petitioning for a modification based on certain grounds.
1. A shift in circumstances
One grounds for an alteration is if you, your co-parent or your children’s circumstances change materially and substantially after the establishment of the order. Examples of such changes include one parent moving to another state, remarriage, neglect, job loss, physical or mental health problems and parental alienation.
2. Voluntary relinquishment
The custody agreement may also undergo a modification if you or the other parent agrees to relinquish his or her custody.
3. Children’s preference
While your offspring do not decide where they live, after the age of 12, judges may allow them to express their preference. Their opinion is grounds for a custody modification.
If you feel your children are not in a situation conducive to their physical or mental health or education or they express a desire to live solely with you, it may be time to request a child custody modification. As long as your request is in the best interest of your offspring and it is for a major change, there is a chance you may receive the asked-for change.