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Switching a child custody setup at the child's request

After a divorce, parents in Texas must understand their child custody rights and how those can change in the future. Furthermore, they need to know what legally has to happen to warrant a change. It may not be as simple as they assume.

For example, take the story of a woman who was married for just under two decades. She then got divorced and took custody of her son. Four years later, when the boy was 17, he came to her and told her something that changed the whole situation, which she felt was going very well.

He said that he wanted to live with his father.

The woman was very sad about this, but she was also nervous. She felt that the father did not impose enough rules on the boy, which could lead to trouble. She also knew that the father did have a lot of money, and she thought that the increased wealth and the lack of rules would not be a good combination.

Interestingly enough, though, courts in most states need to see that the circumstances have changed in a significant manner in order to reverse a ruling and switch custody from one parent to the other. This isn't a thing that can be done for trivial reasons. Even if a child would like the switch to happen, that might not prove to be enough to get the judge to go along with the child's wishes, choosing instead to stick with the original child custody arrangement.

On top of that, while judges are told to keep the child's best interests in mind, there is a lack of specific guidelines that all of these judges must follow, so the laws are not terribly clear in many cases.

Source: Huffington Post, "6 Words No Divorced Parent Wants To Hear" Bruce McCracken, Aug. 03, 2014

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