In the event of a divorce where children are involved, a custody and visitation agreement is either agreed upon by the parents or decided and ordered by a judge and/or court. If you currently have court-ordered child visitation rights or limitations in Dallas that you are hoping to change, a legal modification of court orders must be pursued. Learn how to change a child visitation schedule.
Modification of Court Orders
There are many reasons why a person may want to change child visitation orders. In some cases, a person may have been dissatisfied with the agreement when it was originally ordered. In other cases, circumstances may have changed such as acquiring more significant finances or a child growing up and requiring more or less care.
Regardless of the reason, a parent who wants to make adjustments to child visitation orders must file a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship, according to Texas Family Code Chapter 156.
Filing a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship
The Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship can be obtained online. The petition must be filled out in full and then filed in the clerk’s office where your original child visitation orders were filed. Other parties involved (the other parent or guardian) must receive a Service of Citation from an official process server. The Service of Citation will inform the other parties of the petitioner’s intent. Alternatively, the other parent may file a Waiver of Citation and file an Answer.
If all parties involved agree to the petition, then the process is easy. If everyone is in agreement, then you will then file an Order in Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship. The Order will be presented before a judge, who will usually sign it, assuming that the agreed-upon arrangement is in the best interest of the child or children.
What if the petition is contested?
If the other parent does not agree with the petition to change the child visitation orders, then a more lengthy and difficult process may ensue. If the petition is contested, it is recommended that you obtain the services of an attorney.
Usually one of these situations necessitates a change to the child visitation order.
- Changing the child visitation arrangement is within the best interest of the child
- Circumstances have changed since the original child visitation order was issued
- The child’s home parent has allowed the child to be cared for by another person for at least six months
- The child (of at least 12 years of age) has requested a change
Of course, the best interests of the child will always be placed above a child’s preference. If some or all of the criteria above are met, then the petition may be approved and adjustments to child visitation orders may be granted.
A Family Law Attorney Can Help You with Court-Ordered Child Visitation Matters in Dallas
If you need to file a Petition to Modify the Parent Child-Relationship in Dallas in order to change your visitation rights, or if you need help proving that visitation changes should be made, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Julie Johnson, PLLC, can help you.
Our attorneys know that there’s nothing more important to you in the world than your child, and understand why changing child visitation in Texas may be so important to you. To get legal help today, call us now at 214-265-7630 or use our contact form to reach us.