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Child custody


Either parent may file a petition to modify a child custody order—but usually only when there is a substantial change in circumstances that affects the child (including changes in one or both of the parents’ lives) that justifies the court revisiting and possibly modifying the earlier child custody order.

The petition to modify child custody generally must be filed in the same court in which the parents’ divorce case was decided. But if the child lives in a different county or state, the courts of the county or state where the child lives may be the proper place to file a petition to modify a child custody order.

In Texas, either parent has the right to file a petition to modify a child custody order if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances since the original order was made. This change must significantly affect the child's well-being. Common examples of such changes include relocation, changes in the child's needs, a parent's job loss, or issues related to a parent's health or behavior. The petition to modify custody is typically filed in the same court where the original custody order was issued. However, if the child has moved and has been living in a new county or state for at least six months, the modification may need to be filed in the court that has jurisdiction over the child's new residence. This is in accordance with the Texas Family Code, which governs child custody modifications and the jurisdiction of such matters.

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