How Can I Modify My Visitation Rights in Texas?

Our Houston Family Lawyer Explains

Image of a Document Being SignedA child custody order sets forth the custody and visitation rights of parents for their children in the aftermath of a divorce. In order to modify a child custody and visitation rights order, the burden is on the parent seeking the change. The court assumes that the status quo is best for the child. The commonly used phrase that the parent seeking the change must show is a substantial change in circumstances. Without such a showing, a court will not modify the order. If a substantial change has occurred in your family and your original child custody order no longer meets your child’s best interests, a Houston family lawyer can advise you of what action you can take.

What Constitutes a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

Some examples of what might qualify as a substantial change include:

  • The custodial parent decides to move. If the move is to a place far away, it might have a serious impact on the child’s life. The non-custodial parent should detail how exactly the move will impact the child’s life, because some courts will permit the custodial parent to relocate regardless of the distance.
  • The custodial parent engages in substance abuse or illegal activity. If the custodial parent is involved in conduct that might harm the child, the non-custodial parent can seek sole custody or a modification of a previous order.
  • The custodial parent has a substantial change in lifestyle. Apart from illegal activity, the custodial parent might do things like working the night shift that affects his or her ability to supervise and raise the child. The non-custodial parent can seek modified or additional visitation rights based on this type of change.
  • Older children can have some input. If your child is 16 years of age, for example, courts will allow him or her to have input into modifications of a child custody and visitation order.

How to Go About Modifying Child Visitation Rights

There are several options available for parents who wishes to contest or modify court-ordered visitation rights.

  • The Texas Office of the Attorney General maintains a toll-free hotline with assistance available in both English and Spanish for parents with child custody and visitation rights disputes.
  • Parents can attend monthly Parenting Order Legal Clinics that occur throughout Texas to learn about what they can do.
  • Parents who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for federally funded legal assistance through a Legal Aid or Legal Services program.

A Houston child visitation rights attorney can provide the experience and understanding you need to help you make the best child visitation rights decisions.

Modifying a child custody and visitation rights order is not easy. A lot of effort goes into deciding them in the first place, and courts presume that the order already protects a child’s best interests. A non-custodial parent has an uphill battle to persuade the court that the order is incorrect, so it is best to contact a Houston visitation rights lawyer at John K. Grubb & Associates, PC if you wish to modify a child custody or visitation rights order.

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