Modification of Existing Orders Part II – Jurisdiction – As we learned in last week’s blog, life is fluid. Circumstances in the life of your child, your ex-spouse, or your life are bound to change after a divorce. And when they do, modification suits play a pivotal role in adapting pre-existing court orders to your new situation.
Modifications of decrees generally arise in the following areas:
- Modification of a geographic restriction;
- Modification of child support to either increase or decrease it;
- Modification of spousal support to increase, decrease, or terminate it;
- Modification of physical custody of a child; and
- Modification of the possession and access of a non-custodial parent
Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction (Child Custody)
Per the Texas Family Code, if a Texas court resolves your divorce and renders a final child custody order, that court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ) to modify that order in the future.
Occasionally, the court that acquired CEJ can lose the ability to modify its earlier order when:
- The parties no longer have a significant connection with Texas;
- The parties have filed written consent for another court to assume jurisdiction;
- The court’s earlier custody order terminates; or
- Another court acquires CEJ because it assumes jurisdiction over a later-filed suit affecting the parent-child relationship and renders a final order based on incorrect information about the existence of a court with CEJ.
Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction (Child Support)
In the case of child support orders, only a court that has CEJ can modify an existing order. As the Texas Family Code points out, it’s typically easy to determine which court has CEJ if there is only one child support order. Things get a little complicated when there are multiple child support orders.
Just like child custody orders, a court can lose its CEJ over some child support cases.
We will dive into what it means to have multiple child support orders and how a court can determine if multiple child support orders exist and are in effect in a future blog post.
This blog post was merely meant to provide an overview of modification suits and the various jurisdiction requirements courts must follow. Before filing your case, give Nelson Law Group, PC a call. It is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.