Losing your ex is hard, but losing your kids on top of that can be unbearable. If you just filed for divorce and the court did not grant you custody of your child, you can ask for an order modification. A judge can change your existing order in a modification case, and you might get custody of your child after all.
Modifying your order
To change your custody order, you need to file an order modifying the parent-child relationship. Your ex will receive the order, and they can sign or refuse to sign it. Most likely, your ex will refuse to sign the order if they initially got custody of your children. In that case, you will need to take your case to mediation and, ultimately, to a final hearing.
Harris county requires you to go to mediation before taking your case to a final hearing. During mediation, a neutral professional will try to resolve the disputes between you and your ex. However, you might not reach a mutual agreement, in which case you will need to schedule a contested final hearing.
Contested final hearing
To schedule a contested hearing, you will need to contact the clerk’s office and ask them what times and days are available for the hearing. After choosing a date, you will need to fill out the notice of final hearing form. Then, you will have to take the signed document to the clerk, who will file-stamp it and make copies of it.
You will need to send one of the copies to your former spouse to notify them about the hearing. You must do this at least 45 days before the hearing. Sending them a copy is the only legally acceptable way to let them know about the upcoming event. Keep any evidence that proofs that you notified your ex, as the court can ask for this later.
The court’s decision
During the final hearing, the court will listen to you and your ex’s arguments. If the court believes that they made a mistake in their initial custody order, they might modify it. You must keep in mind that contested hearings are complicated, so it would be in your best interests if you seek legal representation in court. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights and increase your chances of getting your child back.