My teenage daughter no longer wishes to visit her mother.
If she refuses to spend visitation time with my ex-wife, can I get in trouble for that? Is there a way I can stop these visitations?
In order to modify an earlier order, a new suit must be filed. In order to change the terms and conditions of an existing court ordered custody arrangement, you will need to file a suit to modify custody.
A custody order can generally be modified on four different grounds: 1) an agreement by the parties plus it is in the best interest of the child, 2) the child is at least 12 years of age and expresses a preference of which parent he or she prefers to live with, plus it is in the best interest of the child, 3) the parent with the exclusive right to designate the primary residence has voluntarily relinquished primary care and possess of the child for at least six months, plus it in in the best interest of the child, and 4) there is a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the child and it is in the best interest of the child. See Tex. Fam. Code §§ 153.007(a) and 156.101.
Applicable here is the second ground.
The court can modify a custody order if (1) the child is at least 12 years of age and expresses a preference of which parent he or she prefers to live with in chambers to the court, and (2) it is in the best interest of the child.
To determine whether the modification would be in the best interest of the child, the court considers various factors, including caring for the child, maintaining family relationships and parental fitness. To determine the child’s preference, the judge will interview the child in chambers.
For more information please contact a Texas family law attorney. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
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Jennifer Hankinson is a Staff Attorney in the Dallas, Texas office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hankinson is licensed in the state of Texas. Ms. Hankinson received her bachelors’ degrees in both Finance and Political Science from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She later received her Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, where she graduated Cum Laude.