Modifications of Texas Child Custody Orders
Whether the issue is about changing child support payments based on a change in income, or changing the custody and visitation arrangements because of relocation, we can help you find a solution to meet your needs. Whenever possible, we help our clients negotiate acceptable agreements. With over 15 years of experience as an active and successful trial lawyer, Kathleen Collins is willing and able to represent you at trial. We aggressively pursue our clients'' interests at every stage of the case.
Custody Orders are living documents, changing as your children grow, parents remarry, new employment or career goals materialize it might become necessary to change the Court Orders regarding your children. Modification of Conservatorship (Custody), visitation schedules, where you can live etc., could be a costly adventure. Call us today to learn more about your options. A modification is a new lawsuit, carrying an emotional cost and a financial cost. First, try to work things out with the other parent, if an agreement is possible, it is better for everyone.
Unfortunately, there are people who never will agree, or, if they happen to agree, will not live up to their agreement. If this is your case a compromise is hopeless, you must seek a modification of your current Order.
You will have to prove (1) material and substantial change in circumstances of a party or the child(ren); and (2). the requested modification would be in the best interest of the child(ren). The challenge is to demonstrate to your fact finder (the judge or the jury) your desired modification of conservatorship, visitation or possession schedule, geographical restriction, rights of a parent conservator, or other right, duty or obligation you judge necessitates modification, is in the "best interest" of your children.
Common Modification Requests
Geographical Restrictions: Modification of a geographical restriction is one of the leading requested modifications. If you want to move to another state, city or country, you first need to consider the consequences to your children and their relationship to the other parent. Some important factors will be: what kind of relationship exists between the children and the other parent now, does he/she currently exercise his/her visitations with the children, does he/she pay child support per your current Order, how old are your children and have you considered transportation options for your children so that they can visit with their father/mother.
Modification of Primary Conservator: Every aspect of a divorce is stressful, but possibly nothing is tougher than determining custody and visitation. If the parties cannot agree, the court or jury must determine whether the children's best interests are served by staying with their mother or their father. Texas has two primary types of custody/conservatorships, Joint Managing Conservatorship, in which the parents make decisions about the child's upbringing together, is the default arrangement. In this scenario, the Primary Joint Managing Conservator is the parent who receives child support and determines where the child lives. But in some cases, a Sole Managing Conservatorship can be imposed, in which one parent makes all the major decisions about the child's upbringing.
Factors the judge or jury will use to determine Best Interests of a child
1. The desires of the child;
2. The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future;
3. The emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future;
4. The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody;
5. The programs available to assist theses individuals to promote the best interests of the child;
6. The plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody;
7. The stability of the home or proposed placement;
8. The acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and
Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent
Lawyers at the Collins Law Firm provide thoughtful, experienced and compassionate legal representation to help clients get through the emotional and financial stress brought on by divorce. We are dedicated to helping clients move forward with their lives, fighting to protect their rights with respect to custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support. We handle divorce cases and all matters associated with a divorce such as: child custody, modification of custody or child support orders, post-divorce enforcement issues, separation, pre-martial agreements, separation, domestic and international adoptions, grandparent's rights, closely held family businesses, family trusts or marriages with significant separate property estates.
Civil matters, including landlord-tenant matters, construction fraud, contract disputes, and general collections matters. We also provide counsel to clients on a range of other issues to prevent problems from arising or escalating into costly litigation. Civil litigation can include representation at trial, arbitration, mediation, and/or settlement for non-criminal cases. As experienced trial lawyers, we can assist you with civil litigation in matters such as:
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Clients of Kathleen Collins
A.B, Moscow, Russia strongly recommend Kathleen Collins. She is very bright. This recommendation I have received 5 years ago, when I was exhausted due to long-lasting unsuccessful efforts to see my son. I was feeling really helpless until I have met Kathleen. Difficult international child custody case. We won. Never thought before I could feel happy in court...” January 6, 2011
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
Randall Sorrels, Partner, Abraham, Watkins,Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend“Kathleen is an attorney I would trust with a legal issue at any time. She is diligent, technically proficient, but also compassionate with the issues faced by her clients.” January 1, 2011
GC Top qualities: Great Results, Expert December 31, 2010
K.M. - Kathleen is proficient in a variety of aspects of law. We have been very pleased with the results and the amount of time and cost. The value is in the results and the time it took, she was careful/thougheful with our money. It just takes talking to a few people that have hired her to know that they all have the same thing to say, she is a great lawyer and person. The form only allows you to select three attributes thus it did not allow me to input that she is very personable, her rates/time are a very good value, she is punctual in the steps of the process and very creative! If you are looking to get results you will hire her!” December 30, 2010 Top qualities: Great Results, Expert
Richard (Dick) Greene
"Kathleen has battled the stereotypes and biases of female lawyers in the great state of Texas and won! Hardworking, dogged determination to see it through the whole case and a pleasure to see at work in the courtroom. A real professional, not afraid to stand up for what's right, intense with compassion! Someone you can count on when you need an attorney." - First hired in 2004 (hired more than once since), top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative
“During the greater than 20 years Kathleen Collins has represented me, I have known her to be honest, supportive and passionate about her work. Ms. Collins has represented me for a variety of reasons over the years; covering a multiple aspects of the law. She is my go to person anytime I need legal advise or representation. Thank you Kathleen for always being there for me.” July 25, 2009
Top qualities: Expert , Good Value , High Integrity
Hired Kathleen as a Attorney in 1997 , and hired Kathleen more than once
"Kathleen is one of the most dogged and determined attorneys I know. She is a fierce advocate for her clients and works tirelessly to represent and protect their interests. At the same time, she is a very caring and treats people with kindness, respect and honesty. Kathleen is smart and capable of digesting complex information and boiling it down to help others understand what it all means. On top of all that, she's honest and generous. Kathleen embodies the ideals of a good lawyer. I highly recommend her." - April 19, 2009 Olive Talley , Producer, Dateline NBC , NBC Universal was with another company when working with Kathleen at Kathleen Collins and Associates, L.L.P.
"I hired her to represent me in a modification of my divorce decree. My ex-wife attempted to limit my time with our children and increase my child support payments. She had moved to another state, with our children and I had moved to another Texas County. She took my case to the Court of Appeals, winning an important legal victory for father's rights. All the while the long court case was pending, I had peace of mind because I knew Kathleen cared about my case and my children".
"I hired Kathleen to represent me in my divorce and child custody fight over my infant son. My wife had begun to build a case to move thousands of miles away with our son. She tried my case to a jury of all women, winning custody for me, thank you for believing in me and my right and ability to raise my son".
"Fathers have been told time and time again that it is impossible to be awarded custody of their children. Fathers often decide not to proceed with court in order to avoid confrontation with the other parent. The most important decision a father can make is to insure the safety and wel-being of their children. I would like to personally thank you for your patience, time, and consideration throughout court proceedings. Thank you".
"Thank you for your kindness and patience and great help".
Email Kathleen Collins for an appointment to talk about your case. email@example.com