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Filing a Child Custody or Support Modification Case

Child Custody & Visitation

This article answers frequently asked questions about filing a modification case.

What is a modification case?

A modification case asks a judge to make changes to an existing custody, visitation, child support, medical support, or dental support order.

Where should a modification case be filed?

A modification case should be filed in the Texas county and court where the existing order was made.

What if the child no longer lives in the county where the existing order was made?

If the child has lived in another Texas county for at least the last six months, you have the option of asking the court to transfer the case to the child’s new home county. You must file a motion to transfer before your answer deadline or before the court hearing (whichever happens first). Talk to a lawyer about whether filing a motion to transfer makes sense for your case. TexasLawHelp does not currently have motion to transfer forms for family law cases.

If your child has lived in another state for the last six months, talk to a lawyer. The Texas court may have lost the power to make orders about your child. 

What if I’m concerned about my safety or the safety of my children?

If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your children, get help right away by calling one of the organizations listed below. You may qualify for free legal help.

For situations involving sexual assault, you can also call:

If you are an immigrant, you can also call:

In an emergency, call 911.

Find out more in the Protection from Violence or Abuse section of this website.

Will the judge change the current order?

It depends. There are legal standards that judges must follow before changing a court order. It is up to the person asking for the change to prove the legal standard. See Legal Standards in Custody and Support Modification Cases

Do I need a lawyer to help me with my modification?

Modification cases can be complicated. It’s a good idea to talk with a family law lawyer who can explain your options and give you advice about your particular situation.

It’s really important to talk with a family law lawyer if any of the following are true.

  • You are afraid for your or your children’s safety.
  • Your case is contested.
  • The petitioner has a lawyer.

If you need help finding a lawyer, you can:

Related Guides

  • I need to change a custody, visitation, or support order (Modification).

    Child Custody & Visitation

    This guide tells you how to modify an existing custody, visitation, child support, and medical/dental support order.
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