San Antonio Child Custody Modification Lawyer

Putting Your Child’s Well-Being First

Child custody is one of the most nerve-racking areas of family law. Parents want what’s best for their children, but when they can’t agree on what that looks like in practice, it can create uncertainty, fear, and anxiety.

Child custody agreements are based upon many different factors. Living situations, family structure, and the work schedule of each parent can help to determine how a custody agreement works. When life changes happen, existing custody arrangements might change, too. Working with a reputable custody modification lawyer can help to achieve an outcome that will serve you and your children well.

What’s at Stake with Child Custody Modification?

Your child’s upbringing will play a huge role in the person they grow up to be and the values they embody. When you’re heading into court over a modification of custody, it’s essential to select a legal team that can successfully present your views to the judge.

If these are issues you’re currently facing, you’re no doubt wondering how to win a child custody modification case. One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is choosing the attorney who will help to protect your rights as a parent.

The San Antonio child custody lawyers at Amsberry Law Firm understand that when circumstances change, it’s sometimes necessary to fight for a custody agreement that fairly reflects those changes.

Whether you’re seeking modification or hoping to prevent it, the team at Amsberry Law Firm will work with you to understand the situation, consider all angles, and tailor an argument specific to your family’s circumstances.

To get started building a case, contact our San Antonio-area attorneys at Amsberry Law Firm at (210) 354-2244.

What to Expect When You Partner with Our Family Law Attorney

Achieving Results That Surpass Expectations

At Amsberry Law Firm, we work with clients across the San Antonio area to carefully consider the best approach to a child custody modification agreement. We exhaust all options to help clients achieve the outcome they believe is best for themselves and their children.

If you live in San Antonio or one of the surrounding counties, you may be wondering how to choose a qualified child custody modification lawyer. It helps to know what to look for. Child custody modification in Texas requires specialized knowledge, so you need to choose a legal team with local experience and national credentials.

Why Choose Amsberry Law Firm when You Need to Make a Child Custody Modification?

Amsberry Law Firm has been fighting for the best outcomes for families in the San Antonio area for over a quarter of a century.

When you choose an attorney, a key designation to look for is board certification. The attorneys at the Amsberry Law Firm are a part of the one percent of board-certified family law lawyers in Texas. Certification by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is the hallmark of distinguished legal professionals and can only be achieved with years of successful practice, sound references, and a rigorous exam process.

Board certification, over 25 years of successful practice history, and a long list of grateful reviews from past clients are a few reasons to trust that our attorneys know how to provide you and your family with the representation you need to keep your child’s best interests protected.

If you’d like to speak with the legal team at Amsberry Law Firm about Texas custody modification, call us today at (210) 354-2244.

What Is Custody Modification?

Child custody is usually arranged through a child custody agreement. These agreements are set in place as part of divorce proceedings or are otherwise entered into when unmarried parents go through juvenile court proceedings to determine a custody arrangement.

Typically, a child custody agreement includes a long-term parenting plan. Many considerations go into the creation of a parenting plan. Typically, a judge considers the desires of both parents and aims to provide a ruling that allows both parents to enjoy meaningful parenting time.

Over time, it’s natural for circumstances to change. One parent might remarry, relocate, or experience a marked alteration in their work schedules. These are all common reasons why a parent might wish to alter an existing child custody agreement.

How Do I Modify a Custody Agreement in Texas?

Child custody laws vary by state. While you may ask, how do I modify a custody agreement in Texas, you should know that a federal standard is that parenting plans are established to be long-term. This helps to maintain regularity in the child’s life and minimizes recurring court proceedings between parents.

If the modification to custody is uncontested and both parents agree to work together, they will need to file a petition to modify custody.

What Are Reasons to Modify Child Custody?

Once parents have an existing child custody agreement, there is one primary reason to undergo child custody modification in Texas, as well as two additional possible exceptions.

Changing Circumstances

You’re probably wondering, “What are reasons to modify child custody?” Custody in Texas can be modified for a variety of reasons, but they tend to fall under the umbrella term of “material and substantial changes in circumstances.” This is the chief criteria for custody modification established in the Texas Family Code.

The changing circumstances referenced in the family code must have substantial long-term consequences to merit an agreement modification. Using a child custody attorney to build a strong case for court is the most surefire way to achieve your desired outcome.

Custody Responsibility Abandoned

If one parent has primary custody and has left the child in the care of another person for at least six months, the other parent can request a modification of custody. There are some limitations to this situation. Some employment-based situations are exempt from this guideline, like if the absent primary parent is active-duty military.

Child Reaches the Age of 12

In the state of Texas, once a child has reached the age of 12, they are allowed to give input on their own custody agreement. At this time, your child is allowed to voice their preference to a judge in court. The child’s preference will not be the final determining factor, but it might be enough reason to file a petition to modify custody. Once the petition is filed, a judge will give consideration to the child’s wishes.

Contested Custody Works Better with Counsel

When parents are not in agreement and the modification is contested, it’s highly advisable for both parents to rely upon child custody modification lawyers. Legal representation helps the process move forward more smoothly. Our attorneys will guide you through the steps of a contested modification process and provide support and strategy during the subsequent court hearings.

FAQs About Child Custody Agreement Modification

How do I modify a custody agreement in Texas?

One parent must complete and submit the petition to modify custody, also called the Request for Review form. The parent who is initiating the process should have sufficient grounds to pursue child custody modification.

What are the reasons to modify child custody?

Although Texas law defines grounds for child custody modification as material and substantial changes in circumstances, there are no specifications as to what this means.

Using a legal team is crucial to success in court, as an argument related to custody modification will need to present the current circumstances and compare them to the circumstances at the time the agreement was first drafted in a way that convincingly demonstrates that modification is merited.

How long does a custody modification take?

The expected timeline for a custody modification depends entirely on whether the modification is mutually agreed upon or is contested. If both parents are in agreement over the proposed changes, modification is a short and simple process.

If one parent contests the grounds for child custody modifications proposed by the other parent, the modification process will be done through court proceedings. It’s impossible to predict how long this will take. However, having child custody modification lawyers on your side can help to resolve the issue faster than attempting to file on your own.

Can either parent file to modify custody?

Child custody modification in Texas can be initiated by either parent. Typically, a non-custodial parent with visitation rights might file to change their status to one of shared custody. However, depending on the situation, there are other reasons to file a petition to modify custody.

One parent might want an increase in custodial time. A parent may also seek to reduce or end the other parent’s custodial time.

Can other guardians file to modify custody?

Individuals can file for modification if they are already listed as a party on the existing custody order. If the child has been left in your care for over six months and you are not a foster parent, you can also file for a modification of custody.

Can grandparents file to modify custody in Texas?

Grandparents may file to modify custody in Texas, but only in some situations. If the child has been left in the care of a grandparent for over six months, the grandparents can file.

Additionally, close relatives can file for modification if both parents are deceased, if both parents agree to the modification, or if it can be proven that the current agreement poses a threat to the child’s physical or emotional well-being.

Relatives who may be eligible to file for modification of custody in these situations include:

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts
  • Uncles
  • Brothers
  • Sisters
  • Nieces
  • Nephews.
Typically, individuals who are not closely related to the child cannot file for modification.

How hard is it to modify child custody?

Every situation is unique. Major factors will include the level of involvement parents were granted in the original custody agreement and how substantial any subsequent changes have been. Using a child custody modification attorney will help you present information to a judge and convincingly support your argument.

Partner with the Experienced Attorneys at Amsberry Law Firm

How to Win a Custody Modification Case

Our attorneys don’t just go to court — we go the extra mile for you and your family. We understand the importance and far-reaching consequences of a custody agreement. When you partner with our skilled family law attorneys, you can rest assured that we will craft a strategy that is fully tailored to your needs. Our goal is to place you into the best position during and after litigation, as we work together to fight for the ideal outcome for your child’s future.

If you’re interested in a modification of child custody in San Antonio or the surrounding communities, Amsberry Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today at (310) 254-2244.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]