A divorce decree or an order in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) may contain orders relating to child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance/ support. Child custody and child support orders are ordinarily expected to last while all of the children involved attain legal age or graduate from high school. If an adult child is physically or mentally disabled, child support may continue indefinitely except in extenuating circumstances. Court orders for custody may be modified by agreement, or if the person with the right to determine the primary residence of the child relinquishes care and possession of the child for at least six months, amongst other reasons.
The child’s best interest is the primary consideration in the modification of a child custody order, and several factors may be taken into consideration while determining the child’s best interest. Some of these factors include the child’s changing needs, the physical and mental condition of the conservator, criminal convictions, or bickering between the conservators that causes stress in the children. For the modification of a child support order, the party seeking modification must show that appropriate grounds for modification exist. These grounds may include: increased or decreased income of the person obligated to pay the child support, an increase in the child’s needs, or increased travel expenses for visitation.
Texas laws allow orders substituting sole managing conservators, replacing sole managing conservatorship with joint managing conservatorship, or an order extending child support past 18 for a disabled child.
The lifetime of a spousal support order often depends on the length of the marriage and the earning power of the parties amongst other factors. Spousal support may be terminated after hearing if the party receiving maintenance cohabits with another romantic partner or if the party receiving the spousal support had a disability and the disability ended or lessened.
Whether you want to modify an existing family law court order or to defend a suit modifying a court order, the Law Office of Ify Ononogbu is available to guide you through the process and ensure that your interests are protected. Schedule a consultation with us today to get the help that you need with your modification case.