Modification of Orders Attorneys serving Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant Counties and the cities of Allen, Argyle, Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Grapevine, Irving, Keller, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Mckinney, Plano, Prosper, Roanoke, Southlake, and The Colony.
Texas Attorney Works to Modify Orders and Agreements
Flower Mound lawyer assists clients seeking changes in child support, custody, or alimony
All families change over time. As their needs and goals change, legal action may be necessary to make sure that existing court orders evolve to meet new family requirements. What was suitable to the parties at the time of the divorce may no longer work as jobs change, children age, and parents remarry.
Ilarraza Law, P.C. helps families obtain appropriate modifications to child support, child custody, visitation, time-sharing, and spousal support. I also address relocation issues when parents move into or out of Texas.
Modifications of child custody or time-sharing, child support, and spousal maintenance often require proof to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. These substantial changes can be as simple as a greater financial need or increase in income or may include a change in your child’s environment or time-sharing requirements.
When might you need to modify a court order?
There are a number of situations in which you may need to modify a court order. These modifications are often a result of:
- Changes in custody, visitation, or other parenting plan aspects (if a parent moves away, deploys, or is otherwise unable to care for the child)
- Increases or decreases in child support
- Increases or decreases in spousal support or alimony
- The termination of spousal support or alimony (if the other party remarries)
Parents may also feel a need to request modifications of a court order if they feel as though the other parent is putting their child or children into a dangerous situation or environment.
Why is it important to take the proper legal steps to modify an order?
While it may seem tempting to make the adjustments yourself, this usually isn’t a good idea. It’s always better to ensure the modifications are done in a way that they are legally enforceable should you find yourself in a situation where that is needed. The end result is better for you and your children. If you don’t go through the proper channels then there is no legal protection if the oral agreement is broken.
For example, if your court order states you get visitation with your children every three weeks, but instead you and your spouse agree verbally that you get the children every weekend, your spouse has the power to change their mind at any point and will only be required to give you visitation every three weeks.
What type of orders can be modified in family law cases?
There are several court orders that can be modified through family court including:
- Primary conservatorship
- Child Support
- Spousal Maintenance
- Parental Relocation
- Divorce Decrees
Typically, modification to parenting plans, visitation, or custody seeks to widen, limit, establish, or deny one parent’s responsibilities. Modifying orders typically only takes place when the current plan is no longer in the child’s best interest or if circumstances have changed significantly.
Changing orders regarding divorce decrees can often be more challenging and complicated.
Material and Substantial Change in Circumstances
There are many different types of changes that can potentially justify modifying a court order that affects your children. These changes must be substantial enough that not changing them is not in the child’s best interests. Here are some examples:
- The parent ordered to pay child support may have a substantial increase or decrease in income in comparison to their income level when child support was initially ordered.
- The parent ordered to provide health insurance may no longer have a health insurance opportunity for the child or health insurance may not be available.
- Either parent may wish to relocate to another geographic area which may affect visitation and other aspects of the court order.
- Possession terms between parents may no longer be workable due to a change in occupation, location, etc.
- One parent may be engaging in abusive, neglectful, criminal, or immoral behavior.
- The home environment has become toxic or unstable for the child or children.
- One parent may become unable to control their child’s behavior.
- The child or children may change their preference on who they wish to live with or which school district they prefer to reside in.
- The parent granted the right to establish the child’s residence may have relinquished possession of the child or children.
These are just a few examples of changes that are significant enough to justify modifying prior court orders. However, there are many other situations that would also warrant a legal change. As long as there is a material and substantial change in circumstances, you’ll likely be granted a request to modify.
That being said, it is important to realize that it’s absolutely necessary that the parent requesting the modification is able to demonstrate that circumstances have changed significantly from the time the order was made. This entails demonstrating the circumstances that existed at the time of the original order in comparison to the circumstances that currently exist.
Best Interests of the Child
Changed circumstances are only part of the equation when it comes to modifying orders to do with your minor children. The person seeking the modification will need to show how the requested change acts in the best interest of the child. The court will always side in favor of the child’s best interest and just because circumstances have changed, the court may not agree that the change is warranted in the child’s best interest.
I serve as an advocate for your family
I advocate for your rights in court to help you get the child support and child custody modifications you and your children need. I’ll also guide you through the often-difficult procedures to get those results. In addition, I help families with the domestication of foreign or out-of-state judgments, assisting them in obtaining a court order that asks the State to treat an order from another state as its own. Domestications for matters like child support and visitation can be especially useful when families with children move into or out of the state.
I provide families with individualized legal advice and assistance
When you bring your modification case to my firm, I review your goals with you. Then, I examine the existing agreements between you and your ex-spouse or child’s parent. Together we can set realistic, achievable objectives to bring before the Texas family court judge. Whether you are seeking an adjustment in your spousal or child support, are looking to adjust your visitation schedule, or are attempting to become the primary custodian of your children, I can help.
I take action for you as fast as the Texas family courts allow. I take the time to work closely with you to understand your unique circumstances, goals, and concerns.
Call Ilarraza Law today at (214) 646-3253 to set up your consultation with a modification lawyer if you’re seeking to modify your family law orders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Almost every legal action carries some risk depending on your situation. A lot of that is determined by the particulars of your circumstances. For example, if you request child support order modifications then there’s a chance the other party will be displeased which could lead to increased hostility. There’s also the chance that the court will not grant the order modification to your liking or as you predicted. This is why it’s so important to have an educated and experienced family law attorney to help navigate your change of circumstance and advice if they feel you can successfully modify an existing court order.
Under Texas Family Code, a court cannot modify, alter, amend, or change property division agreements. The court is only able to enforce or clarify a prior order for property division. If you discover that there is property that was not included in the original divorce decree, then either spouse is able to file suit to divide that specific property. It is strongly recommended that you only do this with an experienced divorce modification lawyer.
Either parent is able to request a modification of child support as modifications of orders do not happen automatically. However, these orders cannot be changed on a whim. There must be evidence supporting that there’s a good reason for the modification order. This can include a large increase in income or a change in the child’s needs. If you have a change in circumstances that warrants a modification of child support orders, then you’ll want to speak with a family law lawyer to get the process started. Modifications are complex and since they aren’t easily done, it’s important to have an experienced attorney guiding you through the process.
Temporary orders are orders that are in place until your case is over and you receive the final orders. In cases where the divorce is ongoing due to circumstances, it is possible to request a modification of temporary orders in Texas, provided you can meet the burden by proving there has been a substantial change of circumstances to account for the request.
Some of the most common family law modifications include:
- Modification of Child Custody and Visitation Orders
- Child Support Order
- Modification of Medical Support or Dental Support
- Modification of Existing Orders for Spousal Support
If you’re considering any modification of order, be it related to child custody or any other post-judgment modification of standing orders, the best thing you can do is speak with a modification attorney. They will be able to evaluate your modification request alongside your current order to determine what steps you can take.
Spousal support is not mandatory in Texas. This means that you may or may not have alimony as part of your Texas divorce decree. There are specific court rules when it comes to Texas alimony. Most divorcing couples decide on spousal support or alimony outside of the courtroom. However, if your spouse is unwilling to pay alimony and you meet the requirements according to the Texas Family Code then you may be able to fight for it with an experienced divorce attorney. If down the road, you wish to modify your alimony order you’ll want to work with divorce modification attorneys to ensure it is done properly.