A finalized divorce decree includes provisions for child custody agreed on at the time of the divorce. But many parents may wonder about how a change in circumstances down the road will affect the child custody provisions previously put in place. Specifically, many parents may have questions about how a new marriage may impact child custody.
The very condensed answer to this question is that a new marriage has no effect on the provisions for child custody as laid out in a final divorce decree. However, there is always a chance that you or your former spouse may wish to modify the child custody agreement if a new marriage on either side makes the original agreement impracticable or undesirable.
Changes to the Child Custody
Changes to the child custody agreement as laid out in the final divorce decree must be made by petitioning the court for a new order. Either party may file to change a standing custody arrangement. Parties may cite a new marriage as the reason for the change since a new marriage may mean:
- Changes to finances – this can impact ability to care for the child and to provide a financial stable home for the child
- Change in parenting relationship – there will now be at least three parents to the child, and this change can be a large determining factor in who can make decisions for the child
- Change in living arrangements or schools – even a small move or change of school can greatly impact a child’s life; and the larger the move, the greater the impact
- New siblings and other family members – new families especially new siblings can be a very big factor in determining best interest of the child especially if the child is resistant to these changes
All of these changes may mean that the original agreement is no longer in the best interest of the child which is the standard that the court uses to determine child custody arrangements. As always if the child’s parents can agree on a new arrangement, this will usually is the easiest way to resolve this matter. However, if there are disputes the judge will look all factors affecting the best interest of the child to make a new child custody plan.
For Legal Help
If you or your former spouse are getting remarried, contact the Law Office of Lauren Cain to discuss the individual circumstances of your child custody case and what legal course works best for your family. Call (214) 234-2622 for a Texas lawyer who listens to your concerns and protects your interests.