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Modifications Attorneys in Denton
Ensuring Your Settlement Reflects Your Changing Needs
It is inevitable that many family law agreements and/or court orders will require modification at some point, and our team of dedicated Denton divorce modification attorneys can help you address these changes. At Goline & Roland Law Firm, we have extensive experience in navigating these matters.
Final May Mean Final
When parties divorce or go through mediation, they reach settlement agreements and/or the court issues orders based on certain facts and situations as they exist at that moment in time. The rationale for doing so is based on the important legal principle that parties must be able to rely on the finality of executed settlement agreements and court orders. Moreover, it would be impossible to resolve a case based on what may or may not happen in the future. Parties could continue a case indefinitely based on crazy “what ifs.”
But . . . Final May Not Always Mean Final
Despite the importance of finality in legal matters, mechanisms do exist that allows parties – in some circumstances – to seek modifications of existing agreements and orders. Certain events may transpire that make it impossible for one or both parties to comply with existing agreements and orders. When these events take place, parties may be able to negotiate new agreements, or they may be able to petition the court to modify its previously-issued orders.
It is important to note that certain events are more likely than others to trigger the modification process. Essentially, something substantial must change in order to convince another party and/or the court that modification is warranted.
It is also important to realize that some agreements/orders are not modifiable – such as the property division in a divorce case – no matter what changes one or both parties experience.
What Family Law Orders Can Be Modified?
In family law matters, parties tend to seek modifications of three primary types of agreements/orders:
Child Custody Modification
In Texas, all court orders regarding child custody, including decisions regarding modification, must be based on the best interest of the child(ren). Persuading the other parent and/or the court to modify currently-existing custody plans is not always an easy task.
Certain scenarios may result in custody modification, including the following:
- The child has “outgrown” the existing parenting plan (i.e., a parenting plan designed for a toddler likely will not work for a teenager)
- A parent’s death
- A parent’s job loss
- The development of a substance abuse problem by a parent
- Domestic violence
- In certain situations, the child’s own wishes to change custody arrangements
- Courts do give weight to the preferences of older children
- A parent’s wish to relocate (without the child) and therefore seeks to modify the parenting schedule in order to maintain the child-parent relationship
- A parent’s wish to relocate with the child
The court (and both parents) must consider the overall well-being of the child with and without relocation, and how the proposed relocation will affect the child’s ability to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
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