Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law, Visitation

Understanding Modifications of Family Law Orders

When a court issues a final order in any type of family law case, the order is final. To initiate a change, an individual must file another case with the court. Before a change is made, it is important for an individual to abide by the original order until the court issues the new order. The change is not considered official until the court legally approves the order.

While some issues in family law cases rarely change, others commonly change. Below is a list of issues that frequently change:

Child Custody
Before a court will make a child custody modification, the court will assess and evaluate a change, good or bad, that occurred in the child’s life or the parent’s life to determine how that change affects the wellbeing of the child. If the change is centered on the circumstances of the parent, the individual must also prove that the modification affects the child. In addition, the change must be something that has happened since the decision of the final order. The individual would have to prove that the condition materially improved or worsened since the decision of the original order.

Child Support

Orders pertaining to child support can be changed based on the change of financial need or income of the parents or the altering needs of the child. At times, if the child support enforcement agency is involved with the case, either parent can have the child support order regularly reviewed without attending court. In addition, a parent may be able to request a change in child support when changes to child support laws are implemented.


Visitation orders can be modified if it is in the best interest of the child. An individual is not required to prove there has been a material change in the parent’s or child’s life. After the court grants this type of modification, a person must wait a minimum of two years before requesting another change. However, if an individual can prove that a material change is the reason for a requested change, the individual may not be required to wait two years.

If you would like to request a modification to an order, we urge you to get in touch with our Austin family lawyers at The Law Office of Janet McCullar, P.C. right away! We are led by attorneys who are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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