July 10, 2015 | Share
When Can You Modify Child Support in Texas?
Once a child support order is signed in Texas, the order is binding until it’s changed. Many times, it can be a complex process to modify a support order, but with the help of the Frisco child support attorneys at Nordhaus Walpole, you may be able to make a change that better serves your child and reflects your present circumstances.
Material and Substantial Change
The key to modifying a child support order in Collin, Denton or other Texas counties is a material and substantial change. Family courts require evidence that proves an eligible change has occurred. By working closely with your attorney, we can determine which changes may provide eligibility for a modification and how to prove it in court.
A job loss seems at first like the most obvious material and substantial change, but it isn’t in all situations.
In Texas, child support is based on net income, so a change to the net income of the parent paying support may be grounds for a modification. The expectation, though, is that the paying parent will find new work but continue to pay while either unemployed or underemployed.
In almost all instances, even temporary orders to modify child support while a parent job hunts are denied. As the economy continues to provide challenges to parents, some courts may consider a temporary modification in rare circumstances.
The court is wary of purposeful underemployment or decreasing revenue streams to avoid child support, so if you make a lot less than before, be prepared to indicate that the decrease is legitimate.
If the paying parent makes more money than when the order was issued, the receiving parent may want to modify the support amount. Child support modifications are not retroactive, so if this is the case, work with your attorney to file the petition as soon as possible.
Usually, if an order was issued three or more years ago and changes in income would increase support amounts by $100 or 20 percent a month or more, the court will sign the order to modify.
Changes in Children
If you are the paying parent and you have a new baby, the court considers that an eligible change. If you are the receiving parent and the new baby is also the child of the paying parent, then the court will usually consider that grounds for modification too.
However, if the receiving parent has a new child with or legally adopts the child of another partner, that will not be considered a reason to receive more support from the payer. In that instance, a separate child support case would be started.
Surprisingly to some, if it turns out a paying man who thought he was the father is not, he still must pay until the appropriate modifications to paternity occur.
If you or the other parent is subject to military activation or deactivation, this will not always be grounds for modification. The courts may issue temporary orders for modification, dependent on military status. Again, filing these petitions in a timely manner is crucial, since modifications do not impact past payments.
The death of a paying parent does not release the obligation. The estate must continue to pay until it obtains the appropriate modification.
Additionally, there are many other specific instances that may impact child support modification. If you believe you have a valid reason for a modification, please contact our attorneys for help today.
Categories: Family Law & Divorce