Parents have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 154.001), how much a non-custodial parent owes in child support will be based on several different factors, including their net income, the number of children they are supporting unique medical needs of each child.
Of course, a child support order that was previously put in place may no longer be fair, reasonable, or appropriate. If circumstances have changed, you may be able to get a child support order modified. Here, our Dallas child support lawyers explain the most important things you need to know about requesting a modification of a child support order in Texas.
You Must Demonstrate a Change in Circumstances
Texas only allows child support orders to be altered in certain circumstances. To be eligible for a child support modification, you must meet one of the following two criteria:
- Three (3) years have passed since the order was entered or last modified and the amount owed currently differs by more than 20 percent from the state guidelines; or
- You have experienced a “material and substantial” change in circumstances.
In other words, a request for a child support modification will only be approved if something major has changed. It could be a substantial increase or decrease in parental income, the loss of a job, the birth of another child, or changing medical needs. Regardless, the party seeking a modification must demonstrate a significant change.
An Overview of How to Modify a Child Support Order in Texas
As far as the process is concerned, you cannot modify a Texas child support order through an informal agreement. You must follow the proper protocols to get official approval for the modification. Parents seeking a modification have two basic options:
- Child Support Review Process (CSRP): CSRP is an administrative process that allows parents to negotiate a modification of a child support order. It is the faster, more straightforward way to obtain a modification.
- Court Hearing: If you cannot reach a resolution through CSRP, you can seek a child support modification through a court hearing. As court hearings are complicated, parties should seek guidance from an experienced child support attorney.
Remember, a child support modification — whether you are seeking to increase the payments you are receiving or reduce your own financial obligations — will only be approved if you can demonstrate a material and substantial change in circumstances. If you have any questions about your case, contact our child support lawyers for help.
Call Our Texas Child Support Attorney for Immediate Assistance
At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our Texas child support lawyers are diligent, results-focused advocates for our clients. If you are requesting a child support modification or have general questions about your rights, we are here to help. To set up a confidential, no obligation initial consultation, please contact our law firm at (214) 273-2400. With office locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco and San Antonio, we represent parents throughout Texas.