29 Mar Modifying a Child Support Order in Texas: What You Need to Know
Many children in the U.S. have a parent living outside of the household and therefore, paying child support. According to the U.S. Census, one-half of all custodial parents, 49.4%, had either legal or informal child support agreements.
Child support orders, similarly to custody, can get modified later on down the line. If you are looking to modify your child support order, there are a few things you should keep in mind. An attorney can also help. The team at Navarrette Bowen P.C. is experienced when it comes to child support orders and their modification.
Deciding on child support is not a luxury that co-parents have. Child support, in looking out for the welfare of the children involved, is dictated by the state. The formula looks at the custodial parent and the income of both parents, as well as how many children are involved, to decide how much gets paid every month.
Child support payments get paid monthly and if you are behind, the debt never leaves you. The state can go so far as pull money directly from your paychecks to go to your co-parent if you are delinquent on your payments.
Life constantly evolves and the situation you were in when child support was decided can easily shift throughout the years. If this is the case, you might want to modify your child support order.
Your child support order is eligible for modification only if:
- The order was established/last modified more than three years ago; and
- The monthly amount of the child support order differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded, according to child support guidelines.
- A material and substantial change in circumstances have occurred since the child support order was last set.
There are a few life changes that can occur that triggers modification eligibility. To qualify for a material and substantial change, one of these needs to occur:
- The noncustodial parent is legally responsible for additional children,
- The non-custodial parent’s income has increased or decreased,
- The child’s medical insurance coverage has changed, OR
- The children are now living with a different parent.
If any of these facts apply to you, or you are the custodial parent and the facts apply to your co-parent, you can request a modification.
It is important to note that informal agreements cannot and are not considered valid modifications. If you chat with your co-parent and you both decide to change the payment, it needs to be signed off. Changing it yourself can get you in trouble because it will only reflect incorrect payments.
Child support modifications happen through a court hearing or an in-office negotiation known as the Child Support Review Process (CSRP). A CSRP takes place at a local Child Support Division office. The court will then review it and decide whether to approve it. Once approved, it becomes legally enforceable.
While child support modification is not a complex process, an attorney by your side ensures that everything gets filed correctly and that you are represented well at the negotiation or hearing. Child support orders can not get modified frequently unless big changes keep happening, so you will want to make sure that the one that gets signed is fair.
Navarrette Bowen P.C. has experience in helping clients request and modify their child support orders. Our seasoned Dallas Fort Worth attorneys are here to help you with any family law matter you encounter. Our office is in Denton, but we serve Dallas Fort Worth and the surrounding communities. Contact us today to set up your free confidential consultation.