Denton County Modification Lawyers
Compassionate Guidance in Highland Village, Flower Mound, Argyle and Surrounding Areas
At Burrows Law Group, we recognize that your and your child’s needs naturally change with time. As a result, standing court orders may be eligible for modification to adapt to those new needs. Whether you are a parent who pays support or a parent who receives support, you can petition for modification of the amount or obligation, depending on your situation. Our attorneys at Burrows Law Group are a team of compassionate and experienced professionals who can guide you through the modification process and build a strong case for change.
Can I Modify a Child Support Order?
Child support orders are finalized in court according to Texas’ child support calculation guidelines, though they are eligible to be changed or modified in certain cases. Particularly, if either parent experiences a material and substantial change in circumstances, they can ask the court or the Texas Attorney General’s Office to review the current order. Typically, a substantial change is a significant shift in circumstances, such as changes to custody, employment, or international relocation. If the order has been in place for 3 or more years, however, the threshold for requesting review for modification is much lower.
Petitions to Modify Conservatorship
Child custody orders, or conservatorship orders, can also be modified by filing a “Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship” with the court. There are limited circumstances under which a Texas court will grant a request for modification, though. A court will likely only permit a modification if the change is in the best interests of the child and is based on one of the following:
- the circumstances of the child, one or both parents, or other person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the current order or the date of signing the settlement agreement (whichever is earlier);
- the child is at least 12 years old and has expressed a preference to the court as to who should have the exclusive right to designate their primary residence; or
- the conservator who the child currently resides with has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least 6 months.
Note that the last point above does not apply if the parent is doing so military service reasons.
Modifying a conservatorship order can be a complex process, as the requesting parent needs to prove a significant change in circumstances to justify their request. However, a court generally understands that circumstances change as a child matures, along with their needs, so it is not uncommon to request modification after a certain amount of time since the last order was finalized.
Changes to Alimony
Another type of modification could be modification of an alimony or spousal maintenance order. Like in child support and conservatorship modification situations, a court can modify alimony orders if there has been a material and substantial change of circumstances since the last order. However, until the court formally changes the award, the paying spouse must continue to follow the requirements of the current court order. So, until a judge hears the request for an alimony modification, both spouses must continue to follow the court order. Supported spouses who aren’t receiving court-ordered payments can file a formal request for help enforcing the order, and failure to comply is a serious offense that could lead to severe penalties like attorney's fees, bank liens, or time in jail for acting in contempt of the court. Visit our page on Enforcements to learn more.
Contact Burrows Law Group for Legal Guidance
If you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances, you have a right to request modification of an existing court order you are party to. Whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, for instance, you could petition to change an existing child support or alimony order. Our lawyers at Burrows Law Group are experienced and compassionate professionals who will evaluate the details of your situation to build a strong case for modification. We will prioritize your and your child’s interests and needs as we help you petition for modification of a court order in Denton County, Texas.
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