San Antonio Modifications Attorney
Representing Texans Who Need to Adjust Court Orders
During a family law-related court case, a judge will issue court orders regarding legal matters such as spousal support, child support, and parenting plans. Yet, as time passes and everyone’s lives change, such orders may eventually become cumbersome, irrelevant, or otherwise unsuitable. In Texas, you can request that a judge change a child custody, child support, or alimony order by filing a modification case.
At The Knowlton Law Firm, our family law practice focuses exclusively on family law matters related to divorce, including modifications. San Antonio modifications lawyer Brian Knowlton is happy to guide you through every step of the modification process to help ensure you attain the results you want.
People’s lives are not static, so you should not be forced to stay trapped in a court order that no longer works for you. Failure to comply with a court order can result in serious penalties, so be sure to consult with an experienced modifications lawyer in Texas as soon as possible to request any necessary changes. We can help you secure the court orders that work best for you and your family.
What Court Orders Can I Modify?
You can modify the following divorce-related court orders in Texas:
- Child custody (also known as “parenting plans”)
- Child support
- Spousal support (a.k.a. “alimony”)
To get a divorce order modified, you must prove that you have experienced a change in circumstance to a Texas family court. For example, if you are a custodial parent whose job requires that you move out of state, but your ex-partner has visitation rights, you can request a modification. The same goes for if a partner suddenly loses a job and can no longer afford to pay child support or spousal maintenance.
Each type of court order has its own requirements for modification as well. For example, a Texas child support order is only eligible for modification at least one of the following applies:
- The order was created or last modified over three years prior,
- The monthly support cost differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to state child support guidelines, or
- A substantial change in one parent’s life circumstances has occurred.
To learn more about whether you are eligible to request a modification, consult with an experienced modifications attorney near you. The website Texas Law Help also has some helpful resources concerning modifications.
Who Can File a Child Support Modification Case?
Either parent of a minor child can file a modification case in Texas. As long as the child is yours, there are not many strict requirements otherwise.
If you are not the child’s parent, you can only file a modification case if:
- You are listed in the current court order as a named party,
- You have recently been responsible for the care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months and you are not a foster parent,
- You have recently lived with the child and the child’s parent, guardian, or conservator for at least six months and the child’s parent, guardian, or conservator has died, or
You are the child’s sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew,
grandparent, or great-grandparent, and:
- Both of their parents are dead,
- Both parents, the surviving parent, or the conservator agree to the modification, or
- The child’s current circumstances significantly endanger the child’s health or emotional development.
How Will My Modification Suit Be Resolved?
There are two ways a modification suit can go. It will either be contested or uncontested by your former spouse. Whether they agree to the modification or not can affect how long the process takes to go into effect and well as the results.
Your modification suit is uncontested if it can be completed by either:
- Agreement: You and the other parent agree on all the issues and are both willing to sign the modification forms, or
- Default: The other parent is served with the modification suit and does not provide an answer or fails to appear in court.
A modification suit is considered contested when the other parent files an answer or waiver of service and will not sign the modification order. To resolve a contested modification suit, it is required that the case goes to a final hearing. You will be required to give the other parent at least 45-day of notice before the hearing. It is especially important to talk with a local modification attorney if your case is contested.
Contact Knowlton Law Firm to Learn More About the Modification Process & How We Can Help
While a lawyer is not required to file a modification case, you may want to consider it—especially if your modification request is contested. Our modifications lawyer understands the necessary steps of the process and can guide you through regardless of how complicated or contentious. At the very least, an attorney can explain your rights and options to better set you up for success.
We offer free and confidential case evaluations at no obligation to all prospective clients looking for modifications. Please do not hesitate to reach out to discuss your case!
“Brian took an extremely difficult situation, carefully handled the details, and guided us to a perfect solution.”- Mike
“I only dealt with him and no one else which was a change from previous lawyers I've dealt with. Highly recommend!”- Laura
“It is SO difficult to find a responsive, brilliant, creative, hardworking attorney, but alas if you are looking to Mr. Knowlton, you have found one.”- Jessica