Kerrville Criminal Defense Lawyers

Changing a Custody Order in Texas

Helpful Information from The Law Office of Patrick O’Fiel, P.C.

It happens pretty often. You finalize a divorce and put a custody order in place that works for you and your children, then life gets in the way. You get offered a promotion at work, but must move or take a new shift to accept the promotion. Your ex-spouse decides that it will be beneficial for your children to live near other family members. Your children’s needs change as they grow older. You don’t have to live with the same custody order until your children become adults, but there are things you need to know and be aware of when seeking post-divorce modification of a child custody order.

The first, and perhaps most important thing to remember is that the Texas courts will always give priority to the best interests of the minor children when issuing or modifying a custody decree. The accepted public policy in the Texas courts is that custody arrangements should be built to assure that minor children have frequent and continuing access to parents who have demonstrated that they will:

  • act in the child’s best interests
  • provide a stable environment when they have physical custody of the child
  • willingly share the rights and duties of raising the child with an ex-spouse

When you request modification of an existing custody arrangement, the court’s initial assessment will look at the degree to which the change will disrupt the child’s current lifestyle and lead to instability.

When assessing the parties’ qualifications to serve effectively as parents, the court must do so without regard to the gender or marital status of the parties. The old “tender years” doctrine, which held that the mother had a greater ability to nurture, has not been law or policy in Texas for decades.


At The Law Office of Patrick O’Fiel, P.C., we have more than 10 years of practice experience. To schedule a personal and confidential meeting with an experienced Texas custody modification attorney, complete our intake form and e-mail it to us or call us at (830) 331-5977.