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How to modify court orders

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  • How to modify court orders

With the help of a South Houston divorce lawyer, it is possible to modify the provisions of the final divorce decree. Note that the operating word here is ‘modify’ and not ‘change’. The burden of ‘show cause’ lies with the applicant of the modification and his lawyer. You must show that the situation of the child and that of one or both parents has changed substantially and materially. Substantially in that it will lead to the deterioration of the quality of life and materially in that the parent given the right of possession may not afford similar lifestyle as the one the child has been used to. The following are the conditions in which a court may grant a modification order.

The children have lived in another county for more than 6 months

If the children and the parent staying with them have lived in another county other than where the final divorce decree was made, either of the parent is entitled to petition the court where the decree was made to transfer the administration and enforcement of the custody, child support, and visitation to the county they are currently living. This transfer gives the county where they are currently domiciled the authority similar to the one the decreeing court had.

Either parent’s financial situation has changed materially and substantially

If the financial situation of the father or the mother has improved, regardless of whether they are staying with the child or not, either parent can petition the court through the South Houston divorce lawyer to revise the child support amounts upwards. Additionally, if 3 years since the divorce was decreed as final has elapsed and the child support amount needs to be revised upwards with additional $100, and the child support guidelines allow this, then the parent that is staying with the child can petition the court to modify the provision of child support decree in the final divorce decree. If on the other hand the situation of the parent that pays child support has deteriorated due to factors such as being laid off, incapacitation due to accident etc., the parent can petition the court to revise the provisions of the child support decree downwards.

If a party to the final divorce decree can prove that custody and visitation provisions needs to be changed

This can only happen if; the parents are joint conservators, the child’s situation and that of one or both of his or her parents has changed substantially and materially, and if the current order has proved unworkable and both parents agree it is unworkable. Also, failure to notify the visiting spouse of change of address and inability to pick up the kids can cause the court to allow the provisions modification.

Conservator modifications can happen only to the benefit of a child

Joint conservator can change into sole management and vice versa if the child’s situation has changed materially, or if such a move is beneficial to the child or if such a move will protect the child from physical danger or emotional development impairment.

Note that all these modifications can only happen when the South Houston divorce lawyer you have hired can really show the court that the modifications are beneficial to the child.



Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.


Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com