In Texas, the Court may allow a parent to modify a court order that deals with conservatorship (child custody) and possession or access. A modification that does not seek to change the primary residency of the child, may be made any time. The modification must be in the best interest of the child and:
- The circumstances of the child or parent has materially and substantially changed since the earlier of the date of the initial custody order, or the date a mediated settlement was signed; or
- The child is at least 12 years old and has expressed to the Judge in chambers the child’s preference of who should be the primary custodial parent; or
- The primary custodial parent has voluntarily given primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.
A modification seeking to change the parent who has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residency may not be made within one year of the initial order being rendered by the court or a the signing of a mediated agreement, unless:
- The child’s present environment may endanger the child’s physical health or emotional wellbeing;
- The parent who has exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is the person seeking or consenting to the modification and the modification is in the best interest of the child; or
- The parent who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child for at least six months and the modification is in the best interest of the child.
If a modification is requested within the one year time, an affidavit must be attached to the petition and must contain one of the above mentioned circumstances to support such modification.