For divorcing parents in Texas, the custody arrangements for their children will often be the most critical decision. The custody outcome affects everything from how the court splits up your property and how much child support they order to the relationship you get to have with your kids in the future.

While in-depth parenting plans generally aim to guide families as they adjust to shared custody situations, they can sometimes outlive their usefulness when circumstances change. The following are three common reasons why your family might need to redo or modify its parenting plan.

One of the parents changes jobs

When you initially create a parenting plan, you look at all the circumstances for your family, including the work obligations of each parent.

If a parent who previously worked third shift takes a new job where that will allow them to be around more during the day, that could be a reason to modify the custody arrangement and give them more parental responsibilities.

If a parent who previously worked solely at one location will now have to travel for their job, that could also necessitate a modification of the existing parenting plan.

Your children start high school or middle school

The needs and demands of children at different ages vary drastically. It’s much easier to split parenting time of young children who only have school obligations than it is to split up time when the child has play practice, sports and social events putting strain on their schedule. As your children get older, you are going to need to adjust your parenting plan to reflect the schedules and needs of your children.

One of the parents has put the children in a dangerous scenario

Maybe your kids came home from your ex’s house and told you about how they got left alone overnight despite being relatively young. Perhaps your ex has started dating someone new who has a history of physical violence.

If you have reason to believe that your ex has put your children in a dangerous situation and will continue to do so, you may need to document the circumstances and go to the courts to ask that they adjust the parenting plan to better protect your children.

You can request that the courts consider the issue during your court proceedings if you have a temporary parenting plan in place. If the courts have already finalized your divorce, you may need to request a modification hearing to change your existing parenting plan and custody arrangement.