Avvo Rating Badge
State Bar of Texas

Modification: Divorce (Property); Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship

General:

After a divorce is granted, can the property division be later modified?

Generally, no. The Court has no power to change the property division in the divorce once it becomes final. Technically, a divorce becomes final 30 days after the Final Decree of Divorce is signed.

After a divorce is granted, can the child-related orders be later modified?

Generally, yes. The Court will continue to have the authority (jurisdiction) to modify the orders regarding child support, conservatorship, possession and access and other child-related provisions until the child becomes an adult or the orders terminate.

If the other parent and I agree to change some of the child-related terms of our order, can we do it without going to court?

If the two parents agree to change the possession and access schedule on their own, they are not required to go to court since their order most likely has language that covers that situation. However, agreed changes that are contrary to the terms of the court order cannot be enforced by contempt if one parent decides that he/she no longer wishes to follow the agreement. If the change is a long-term change, a modified order is recommended to protect everyone involved.

Parents can agree to change child support and medical support outside the court, but such agreement should still be made into a court order. Agreements for support changes that are outside the court’s order are not enforceable without a court order reflecting the change. It is not recommended to change the support orders without a court order because if a person does not comply with the court order, contempt and jail are real possibilities. Also, the child support reporting agency’s (usually the Office of the Attorney General) records will not be accurate or able to be corrected without a court order.

How soon after an order is signed by the Court can I ask to modify or change the child–related terms of the order?

There are different time limits depending on the situation. Regardless of the time limit, there must be a material and substantial change in circumstances of one or both of the parents or the child to support a request to modify the child-related terms of the order.

What if my ex files a motion to modify that is just an attempt to harass me or make me incur attorney’s fees?

A party who files a frivolous modification lawsuit may be required to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Child Support:

When can I ask for a child support increase?

Generally, every three years, the paying party is entitled to a child support review. This is based on the presumption (which can be challenged by the paying party) that the paying party’s income will increase over time.

If there is a material and substantial change in circumstances of the parents or the child, either party can file a motion to modify at any time under those circumstances. Some examples are: the paying party’s income has increased significantly or the child has developed medical or educational needs beyond the normal expenses.

When can I ask for a child support decrease?

If there is a material and substantial change in circumstances of the parents or the child, either party can request a child support decrease (usually the paying party). Reasons to ask for a child support decrease include, the paying party’s income dropping a significant amount, the paying party having another child to support, or the receiving party giving possession of the child to the paying party.

If my employment has changed and I need a child support decrease, how far backward can the court change my child support?

The court cannot modify/change your child support backward (retroactively) any earlier than the date the receiving party is served with the motion to modify or the receiving party files a written answer to the motion to modify with the court. Therefore, the paying party should not delay if a modification is needed because the child support will continue to add up at the original court-ordered amount. However, if the parties are in agreement, the modification date can be whatever date the parties determine and include in the modification order.

If my ex’s employment has changed and that person should be paying more child support, how far backward can the court change the child support?

Whether you are the party filing a modification to increase or decrease child support, the court cannot modify (increase or decrease) the child support any earlier than the date the person not seeking to modify the child support is served with a copy of the motion to modify or files a written answer to the motion to modify. However, as stated above, if the parties are in agreement, the modification date can be whatever date the parties determine and include in the modification order.

If my child’s needs have changed, can I ask for more child support?

Depending upon what needs have changed, a child support increase may be appropriate. The court has broad discretion when it comes to a child support increase and will determine a child support modification based upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

Is the “best interest of the child” considered in a child support modification?

              Yes. The best interest of the child is the primary focus of the court.

Possession and Access/General Terms and Conditions

If my court orders are no longer appropriate for my/the child’s situation, can they be changed?

Yes. They can be changed by agreement of the parties at nearly any time. A court can change the orders on a case by case basis. Consult an attorney because what a parent believes is not appropriate may not rise to the level that a court would consider a basis to change the orders.

If my child is frequently late to school, misses school, or does not get his/her homework done on the nights that the child spends the night at the other parent’s house, can anything be done?

Possibly. Depending on the extent of the school-related issues, a court may modify overnight possession, add some conditions to overnight possession that are based on the child being on–time to school and/or getting his homework completed, or any other possible solution that is in the best interest of the child.

Client Reviews

I needed legal advice for a child custody dispute and had spoken with a few lawyers in order to gauge expenses and commitment requirements for legal action. Most of the lawyers I spoke with heard my situation...

William C.

I used Jerry Tidwell as the representing lawyer for two family law cases: my divorce and subsequent modification to child possession schedule. In each situation, Jerry took the time to listen to my concerns...

Karl Y.

Having to deal with the complex world of criminal cases, you will need the best legal representation on your side. Attorney Jerry Tidwell Jr. is that lawyer who knows his craft and always on the side of truth...

Joseph B.

Jerry has been amazing to work with and fights for you in every legal way possible while being completely open and honest throughout the entire process. I highly recommend Jerry for any legal matter you may...

Charles J.

When I found myself in need of a lawyer, I was referred to Jerry Tidwell. I am grateful for his help and expertise. After deciding to take my case to jury trial, the DA decided to make a deal, and anything...

Anonymous

Mr. Tidwell was reliable and well informed. He was just the individual that I needed in my time of legal need. I would refer him without a doubt and would utilize his services again in the future.

Anonymous

I hired Mr. Tidwell on a Tuesday evening. By Thursday, we had a final order and the case was settled. Mr. Tidwell was efficient, extremely communicative, and able to get us the exact result we had hoped for...

Candice H.

I was recommended to seek legal counsel from Jerry W. Tidwell, Jr. when I found myself accused of a crime I did not commit. Jerry helped me through the full process of my Criminal Defense from the early stages...

Dave **

They were awesome and very caring during my divorce. Very knowledgeable on all the laws. I have referred this firm to several people. My attorney was a bull dog!

Denise T

This lawyer is very thorough and knowledgeable about the law. He helped us rescue our grandchild from a very abusive home, and gave this child a much happier life. As God must’ve chose him to deliver children...

Flo S

Thank you for helping me to get through my divorce case — your wide range of expertise and representation was indispensable during this difficult time and I can’t thank you enough for your work ethic and most...

Flordeliza

When Mary called me from [the] law firm I was pensive. She immediately settled me and knew why I was calling and provided sincere empathy. My current situation is quite dire but she assured me the attorneys can...

John E

Jerry gave me excellent legal representation. He is very knowledgeable, attentive and answered all my questions. I highly recommend him! I would give 10 🌟 if I could

Jordan B.

[The law firm] was recommended to me by several people in the area. I hired ... Jerry Tidwell has been my family lawyer. He has been available, honest and helpful. Nobody wants to be in the position to hire a...

Katie O

Mr. Tidwell is an exceptional attorney. He is prompt in his response time, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Mr. Tidwell outlined all options & their pros and cons. Highly recommend!

Katie P

I’m not sure if I can find the words to express how thankful we are to Mr. Tidwell for resolving our custody case. He goes above and beyond and never sugar coats things. If you’re looking for a custody lawyer...

Kristina B.

At first with [the other law firm], I started off, pretty bumpy and very slow. [Wound] up going through ... different lawyers and finally ended up with Jerry Tidwell. Once Tidwell took over [the] case...

Natisha M

I really can’t say enough of how much I appreciate Jerry and how he handled my case. The situation I was put in felt impossible but Jerry got everything taken care of and gave me the best outcome I could have...

Nick S.

We are forever grateful for all of the hard work Jerry and Mary put into our case. They communicated with us every step of the way and got our case closed with the BEST outcome in record time.

Jennifer K

This firm specifically Sarah Blackstock did exceptional work on my behalf. Her responsiveness is beyond exceptional.

Tim T

Mrs. Lanski was very kind, polite, and professional. She really made me feel welcome and that the team had my back. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.

Melissa O

After 11+ years of fighting a battle I didn't think I could ever win, Sarah was able to change my mind. She was very considerate of all feelings involved, and found the best solution for everyone. Definitely...

Mary L

I had a wonderful consultation with this firm. Jerry and Mary were extremely helpful guiding me in the right direction. They are very professional, polite and knowledgeable. I’d recommend using them for your...

Nicole M

Mary Lanski is a real asset ... [s]he is attentive, courteous and very responsive. Out of 10, I would give her a 10+

Julia K

Phenomenal service. From the moment they picked up the phone call until the moment we disconnected it was top notch. Would definitely recommend.

J (Anonymous)

This guy has great reviews. He is going to help me resolve a problem I had on a case 16 years ago that I paid him for. Awesome guy!

Jonathan M

A well versed and trusting attorney! Mr. Tidwell was reliable and well informed. He was just the individual that i needed in my time of legal need. I would refer him without a doubt and likewise myself would...

Anonymous

When I found myself in need of a lawyer, I was referred to Jerry Tidwell. I am grateful for his help and expertise and I road the wave of the legal system. After deciding to take my case to jury trial, the DA...

Anonymous

Great guy to have in your corner I hired Mr Tidwell to assist me with some family law issues. From the first meeting I had a good feeling about him. His no nonsense, straight shooting ways are something to be...

Matt

Worth it! Mr. Tidewell viewed my case and warned me of potential holes in my own legal strategy that I had overlooked. He was open and honest with his intent and execution. Stellar performance; was aggressive...

William

Aggressive, Knowledgeable, and Trustworthy I consulted with and hired Jerry Tidwell to represent me on a child custody modification case back in February of this year. He was respectful of my perspective, and...

Mallory E
Fill out the contact form or call us at 972-234-8208 to
schedule your free consultation.

Leave Us a Message

5151 Headquarters Drive
Ste 205

Plano, TX 75024