Child custody is determined by considering what is in the “best interest of the child” (Tex. Fam. Code §153.002).  However, after a child custody decision has been made, a lot of things can change.  The parent or custodian put in charge can change their attitudes about the custody or it may not turn out to be a good fit for the child.  Additionally, the birth parent of the child can better his or her circumstances and recover custody of the child.

Brownsville Child Custody Modification Attorney

If you are preparing to file a child custody modification, it is best to obtain an attorney to represent you.  Getting child custody modified can have obstacles, if you are unsure on how to proceed in a hearing.  Our attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. are experienced in the Texas family courts and can defend you in your case.

Child custody modifications must be court-ordered.  If you were previously denied custody, you will need to convince the court that it is in the best interest of the child to be in your conservatorship. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. will stop at nothing to reach a favorable resolution when you become their client.

The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. works with clients throughout the Brownsville area and the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy.  Call 956-504-2211 to schedule a consultation or fill out a case review form at the bottom of the page.

Overview of Child Custody Modification

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What Does a Child Custody Modification Entail?

Tex. Fam. Code §152.102 (12) states, ‘“Modification’ means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.”

A child custody modification can be petitioned by:

  • The current custodian;
  • An individual (non-foster parent) with care, control, or possession of the child (for at least 6 months, and no more than 90 days from the date of the petition of modification);
  • An individual who has lived with the child and child’s parent, custodian, or guardian (for at least 6 months, and no more than 90 days from the date of the petition of modification) and the child’s parent, custodian, or guardian has died; or
  • A grandparent, sibling, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew of the child, where one of the following is true:
    • Both parents of the child are dead;
    • Both parents, the surviving parent, or managing custodian have agreed; or
    • The current living conditions of the child can potentially harm him or her physically or emotionally.

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The legal process for modification works in the same way as an original child custody determination. The custodian of the child is given 45 days to respond to your citation for modification.  If the child custody modification suit is uncontested, then all the viable parties involved in the decision (parent, custodian, petitioner, etc.) can sign a modification request form.  However, the case can be absolved and turn uncontested by default, if the other party does not respond to the citation for modification suit nor shows up in court by the 45th day.  If the other party (parent or custodian) formally contests your petition for modification, your case will have a final hearing.  An attorney for child custody modifications is crucial when heading into a final hearing.

A child custody modification suit in a final hearing is determined based on the grounds used during the original custody determination.  The court decides the current situation of the child and considers what is in the “best interest of the child.”

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Child Custody Modifications Out of State

Tex. Fam. Code §152.206 (c) determines that in the case of an out-of-state child custody proceeding, the court may:

(1) stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;

(2)  enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement; or

(3)  proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.

The Family court of Texas will determine if they have the appropriate jurisdiction to take over a case that is brought here out of state.  In case, the other parent is living outside of Texas, Tex. Fam. Code §152.08(a) determines that, “Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this state for service of process or by the law of the state in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.”

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Additional Resources

National Center for State Courts (NCSC) | Child Custody– The Children’s Bureau provides more information involving the modification of child custody in the family courts.  Additionally, there are resources that provide helpful criteria for the determination of the child custody.

Child Custody | Texas Legal Forms– The Texas State Library has resources to reach child custody modification application forms.  The child custody modifications forms will be split between two types: contested and non-contested.

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Brownsville Child Custody Modification Lawyer

If you are involved in a child custody modification suit, you should retain a family law attorney as soon as possible.  A final hearing will be scheduled within 45 days of the date of the modification application, if neither party agrees on the terms proposed by the other.  The final hearing will be delayed by the court. It is important to have legal presentation before the final hearing date.

The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to your legal needs.  Child custody modifications will require you to have a sufficient evidence to prove that it is in the best interest of the child that you be awarded custody.  At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we will put all our best efforts to make sure you get a favorable result.

The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. works with clients in the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy. Call for a consultation at 956-504-2211 or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page.