Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Key factors to know about changing a custody order

Even a well-formed, agreed upon custody order may need changes over time. As the child grows, so may a parent's desire to spend more quality time together.

If a parent seeks to modify a custody order, it is important to understand what the process entails. There are a few factors to know about adjusting an order.

Stipulations

For those parents who agree to the adjustments in the custody order, the process to change the order is pretty straightforward. Since they agree, they can file a stipulation with the judge, who will review it and make the adjustment in the current custody order. Until the courts accept the stipulation, the current custody order stands, but parents may begin to work out the transition amongst themselves.

Motions

In the case that the parents cannot come to an agreement about modifying a custody agreement, they may have to return to court. The parent seeking the adjustment would file a motion. There are five steps to this process:

  1. Complete paperwork
  2. File paperwork
  3. Serve other parent
  4. Attend hearing
  5. Prepare and submit order after hearing

Once the judge reviews and approves the order, it goes into effect. It is important that parents fully understand and abide by the filing process in order for their claim to stand a chance.

Child's interest

Even if parents follow proper protocol completely, the judge may still deny a stipulation or motion if the proposed modification does not benefit the child. In family court, the judge acts as an advocate for minors, so any decision involving children will be made with their best interest at heart. Parents should keep this in mind when creating and defending order modification requests.

These are just some of the key factors to consider when seeking a change in a custody order. Parents who want to begin this process should take some time to review the law so that they may make the best decision for them and their children.

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At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
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San Antonio, TX 78205

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