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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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What are the grounds for modifying a child access agreement?

In a Texas divorce case, a specific order may be created that determines who gets access to a couple's children. While the order is legally binding, there may be ways to modify the order. To ask the court to modify the order, that individual must have standing to do so.

Additionally, any sibling of a child who is denied access due to actions taken by the Department of Family Services may ask for an access modification. Regardless of who files the suit, there must be proper grounds to modify the order. A judge must find that modifying the order is in the best interest of the child, and one of three conditions must be met.

If the circumstances of the child, the conservator of the child or any other party has changed, a modification may be granted. If a child is over 12 years old and has expressed a preference to stay with one party, a judge may take that into consideration. Finally, if the primary caregiver of a child has relinquished that right for more than six months, a modification may be made. However, this rule does not apply to those who relinquish care due to military service.

As a child grows older or the circumstances of an affected party change, it may be beneficial to modify a child access order. Doing so may enable a child to spend more time with parents and siblings, which could aid in that child's development. Anyone wishing to modify a custody or visitation order may wish to hire a family law attorney.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, "FAMILY CODE", October 29, 2014

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