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Can I Submit a Child Custody Modification Based on My Child's Choice?

When Mature Enough, Children are Allowed to Provide Input Into Their Own Custody Arrangement

Family law issues are not static. A child custody agreement or court order that made sense when it was put into place may no longer be appropriate or effective after a few years have passed. Under Texas law, parents have the right to seek a child custody modification when certain criteria are met.

In some cases, you may even be able to seek a child custody modification based on the wishes of your kid(s). In this article, our dedicated Pearland, TX child custody lawyer explains when you can submit a child custody modification on the grounds that your child is making the choice.

You Need to Prove a Substantial Change in Circumstances

Under Texas law, both parents have the right to seek a child custody modification. Parents can even jointly file for a modification if they can reach a settlement on a new custody arrangement. When parents agree on the proposed modification, obtaining one is generally not that difficult. However, when parents disagree, the petitioning party will need to go to family law court to seek the modification.

In these cases, the parent who is attempting to get the custody modification will need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that their proposed modification is appropriate given the new situation. If your child is 12 years old or older, his or her stated wishes to change the custody arrangement is sufficient to qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. You can petition for a modification based on your child’s wishes.

Children 12 and Older Get Input, but do Not Make Final Decision

Texas family law judges are tasked with finding the custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. In determining the child’s best interests, the child’s stated wishes play an important role. When a child is 12 or older and can provide reasonably well-articulated testimony as to why he or she wants to change the primary caregiver, Texas family law courts will generally put a considerable amount of weight on the child’s choice.

However, children do not get the final call. The child’s decision is an important factor, but not a decisive factor. If you are a Texas parent who is seeking a child custody modification based on your child’s own choice, you still need to be ready to present a strong case as to why you can provide the best environment for your child. You should always be represented by a child custody lawyer who has experience handling complex modification cases.

Contact a Pearland, TX Family Law Modification Attorney Today

At John Powell III, P.C. , our compassionate child custody lawyers have deep experience handling a wide range of family law modification issues. If you are seeking a custody modification based on the stated wishes of your child, we are here to help.

For a fully confidential child custody consultation, please contact our law firm today . We have an office in Pearland and serve parents throughout the region, including in Brazoria County, Galveston County, Harris County, and Fort Bend County.