Child support is often one of the most contentious issues between two parents who are divorcing or two biological parents who are unmarried. In most cases, the non-custodial parent bears the burden of making payments to the primary custodian in order to assist with the care of his or her children. Biological parents have the obligation to financially support their kids until they reach adulthood, but what happens if a parent is unable to adequately meet this demand?
If you cannot pay the full amount of child support, you have the right to seek a modification to the final support order. Texas parents who have experienced a significant and material change in circumstances may be eligible to secure a modification to a child support plan.
Which parents can seek a modification?
Simply wanting to pay less money each month is not adequate grounds for a modification. Rather, you must be able to provide evidence that your circumstances have changed to a point where you are unable to maintain regular payments in the currently specified amount. You may be eligible if:
- You are now legally responsible for additional children.
- Your income has decreased significantly.
- Your kids' medical insurance costs have changed.
- Your kids' living arrangements have changed.
- You are returning from active duty military service.
Job loss, transfer and remarriage are all common reasons that a parent may find it necessary to seek a legal remedy to his or her child support frustrations.
Who decides if I can change my support order?
The only way to achieve a binding modification is to go through the necessary steps. A verbal agreement between parents is great, and may seem sufficient if you believe that your current difficult circumstances are only temporary, but that is not enough. Modifications to child support orders must receive approval through a court hearing or through the child support review process.
In addition to proving that your financial circumstances are significantly different, you can receive a modification if three years have passed from when the order was established or last modified. The amount must be at least 20 percent or $100 different from the ordered amount.
Where do I start?
If you believe that you may be eligible for a modification to your child support order, you will find great benefit by first seeking the guidance of a family law attorney. Achieving a modification requires navigating a legal process, and you will have a higher chance of meeting your objectives with the help of an experienced ally.