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Legal Information: Texas

Custody

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Updated: 
April 10, 2018

If a custody order is already in place, how can I get it changed?

To change a conservatorship or possession and access order that is already in place, you need to file a motion with the court.  Generally, you can file to change or modify a conservatorship or possession and access order if it would be in the best interest of the child and:

  • the circumstances of the child, a conservator, or other party affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the order was put in place; or
  • the child is at least 12 years old and has filed with the court, in writing, the name of the person who the child prefers to have the exclusive right to decide where s/he will live; or
  • the conservator who has the exclusive right to decide where the child will live has voluntarily given up the primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.*
    • This subsection does not apply to a conservator who has the exclusive right to decide where the child will live and who has temporarily give up the primary care and possession of the child to another person during the conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

To file a motion for a change in conservatorship or possession and access, you must fill out certain forms and return them to the court. You can visit your local courthouse to obtain copies of all the needed paper work.  The court clerk may be able to answer some questions you have about the paperwork but cannot provide legal advice.  You might want to consider contacting a lawyer for help with this.  You can find information on lawyer referral services and free or low-cost legal services at our TX Finding a Lawyer page.

* Tex. Fam. Code § 156.101