Texas law delineates when and how child possession and parenting time can be changed. There are some specific facts and factors that must be borne in mind when it comes to all matters associated with these matters, including when a parent desires to change an existing order of the court.
Best interests of a child
In Texas, when it comes to issues associated with child possession or parenting time, courts utilize a particular standard in rendering decisions. When decisions are made in regard to child custody or parenting time, a Texas court utilizes what is known as the best interests of the child standard.
The best interests of the child standard necessitates an examination of the facts and circumstances of a particular case when making decisions in the regard to custody and parenting time. This standard is applicable when not only when custody initially is established but when a parent desires to make a change to an existing custody and parenting time order.
Points considered by a court when a modified custody or possession order is sought
A court never utilizes a one-size-fits-all standard when making custodial or parenting time decisions. The court considers a set of factors unique to the case at hand. With that said, factors that commonly come into play when considering a parent’s desire to change custody or possession include:
- Overall physical, mental and emotional health of the parties
- Existing residential situation of parents
- Consideration of which parent is most apt to promote a relationship between the other parent and child
- Child’s preference (depending on age and maturity level)
Texas courts maintain standard forms which can be used when a change of custody or possession is sought. Due to the challenging nature of custody and parenting time matters, seeking legal representation oftentimes is the preferable course.