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Do you need to go to court if you agree on custody changes?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Family Law |

It may have been hard to originally create a custody agreement with your ex. Parents in the middle of a divorce or a breakup often struggle to share custody at first, and setting all the details about your schedules can be difficult.

However, as the family adjusts to the new arrangements, co-parents will begin to develop a new rapport with one another. As they share the responsibilities of raising their children, they may even become friends again. An improved relationship between you and your ex can benefit everyone in the family, but it can also lull you into a false sense of security.

Now that you generally get along, you may be able to make changes to your custody arrangements by just calling or emailing your ex. Although this kind of flexibility is beneficial for small changes and one-time adjustments, you still need to go back to the Texas family courts if you make any substantial changes to your custody plan.

Informal custody arrangements don’t protect you

You have legal obligations to your children under Texas law, and the terms of your custody order define those obligations. Your ex could potentially request enforcement actions based on your behavior even if your actions comply with your new, informal agreement.

However good your relationship may be right now, the possibility is always there for future issues, like a disagreement or one of you starting a new relationship, to affect how you interact with each other. If you agree with one another about how you want to rework your parenting plan, then there should be no issue with the two of you filing a formal modification request with the Texas family courts.

The fact that you agree means that it will be an uncontested filing, which is both faster and more cost-effective than a contested or litigated modification request. The courts will review the suggested changes and update your custody order accordingly.

Keeping your custody order up-to-date benefits the whole family

When you update your custody plan, that can have a ripple effect on everything from your personal life to your child support obligations. Keeping your official custody order updated and accurate by requesting necessary modifications does the most to protect you and your children if you share custody with your ex.