Does Remarriage Affect Child Custody in Texas?

If you’re a custodial parent and wish to remarry after divorce, you might wonder how the move will affect the existing custody decision. Will your ex-spouse oppose the marriage and file a petition to change the existing custody order? What will happen to the child support order, and will your children’s other parent continue remitting payments?

Deciding to remarry without consulting a family law firm in San Antonio for legal guidance can be challenging. Enlist their counsel so that they can walk you through the intricacies of remarriage and its impact on your child custody order. Then, you can make a decision that protects your rights and your child’s best interests.

What Factors Can Cause Child Custody Modification After Remarriage?

Child custody lawyers in San Antonio say that remarriage can form the basis of reviewing the existing custody arrangement. Either party could seek modification to accommodate the new family dynamics, such as changes in the visitation schedule or the division of parental duties. Other reasons that may prompt a modification of the order are:

  • Stability concerns: Remarriage may raise concerns about how stable things will be for your child. For example, your ex-spouse may worry that your new spouse is risky for the children or that your new marriage may create an unstable environment. They may seek to modify the order to protect the child’s interests.
  • Blended families: Handling blended families comprising children from previous and current marriages can be challenging, especially if the children and step-children find it hard to get along. Modifying the child custody order may provide some relief and enable the children to spend more time where they are most comfortable.
  • Co-parenting challenges: When you remarry, you must keep communication lines open with your ex-spouse for the sake of co-parenting. However, this may not always happen, and if communication becomes strained, affecting visitation and parenting time, you may need to modify the child custody order if you can’t amicably resolve the stalemate.

What is the Role of Change in Circumstances in Custody Modification?

An original child custody agreement reflects the existing circumstances when the court makes the order. Since life is dynamic and changes happen, you might have grounds to request custody modification if you can prove a material change in circumstances. Child custody attorneys note that not all life changes qualify as “material.”

A material change is one that significantly affects a child’s well-being. For example, remarriage and new children could constitute a material change, depending on how the circumstances affect the child. If you believe your or your ex-spouse’s remarriage brings material changes, consult San Antonio child custody attorneys to determine if you should modify the order.

What is the Role of the New Spouse in the Child’s Life?

Remarriage by the custodial parent introduces a new dynamic into the child’s life, a factor that courts consider when modifying child custody orders. The primary concern is how the new dynamic affects the child’s life, whether positively or adversely.

For example, if the new spouse blends in with the child, contributes to a more stable environment, and improves the child’s overall quality of life, the court may consider this a positive impact. On the other hand, a new spouse who abuses the child may be seen as a danger, making it necessary to modify the child support order.

What are the Legal Expectations on Child Support Obligation After Remarriage?

The final divorce decree typically contains a child custody and support order that spells out the specifics of each parent’s obligations in supporting the children. It stipulates when the obligation starts, the amount payable, and when it ends. Before your divorce is finalized and the final orders issued, ensure you know when the obligation to pay child support ends.

In most cases, child support is payable subject to the statutory guidelines in the Texas Family Code. However, child custody lawyers in San Antonio explain that abnormal circumstances may necessitate a diversion from the guidelines, with the non-custodial parent paying a non-guideline level of support.

Remarriage doesn’t provide enough reason to cease paying child support. However, if you’re the paying parent and additional children from a current marriage are born to you, you may petition the court to reduce the amount of child support payable. You must prove a substantial change in circumstances that affects your ability to remit the initial determined amount.

What is the Legal Process of Modifying a Child Custody Order Based on Remarriage?

Once you establish material change as grounds for child custody modification, you can petition the court to modify the custody order. Your request must detail the material changes since the original order was issued and how they affect the child’s best interests. The petition must also be accompanied by convincing evidence to support the claims.

Remember, the court’s decision will be guided by its consideration of the children’s best interests, not your preferences. The process can be complex, based on unique factors. So, consider retaining experienced San Antonio child custody attorneys for legal support.

Navigating Child Custody Modification After Remarriage with the Help of a Family Lawyer

Life moves on after divorce, and as the custodial parent, you could find yourself in a new marriage. It’s important to consider how it may affect the existing custody arrangements and the steps you or your ex-spouse could take to protect the child’s best interests. Remarriage can be a source of conflict in child custody, so consult skilled family lawyers to help you resolve it.

Laura D. Heard Law Firm Inc. is dedicated to helping families achieve the most favorable outcome in their family law issues. If you’re seeking to modify a child custody order after remarriage, our team can help. Call us at 210-775-0353 for a case assessment.