Though the divorce decree formalizes the end of the marriage, at times circumstances require the Court to reopen the case and reevaluate the provisions regarding child custody and visitation and child support. This is done through a process called modification, which can be accompanied by a separate suit for enforcement to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. Child support modification actions can be brought by either party as a result of the party paying child support having a substantial change in their income, whether it is an increase or a decrease in that income, which makes the previously ordered child support amount inappropriate under Texas law. There are also times when the child custody or visitation portion of the divorce decree needs to be modified because of a material change in the circumstances of either parent or the child and the requested change is in the best interest of the minor child.
Modification actions can often be as emotional as the original divorce action. This is especially true because modification actions are filed to alter the most emotionally charged portions of the divorce decree in an effort to increase/decrease child support, to increase/decrease parenting time, or to change the primary residence of the child. Modification actions may be resolved through many methods, including traditional litigation, mediation, arbitration, or the Collaborative Law process. We are experienced in all options and are able to educate our clients on which approach will serve them best.