Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

When can parents in Texas modify a child support order?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Divorce

Parents in Texas understand that even if they are no longer in a relationship together, they are both responsible for providing for their child’s needs. This means ensuring their child has a place to live, appropriate food and clothing and the other necessities of life.

When parents are not in a relationship, one parent meets these financial needs by having the child in their physical care most of the time and the other parent pays child support. Still, a parent’s life can change in an instant, and a current child support order might suddenly be difficult if not impossible to meet. If so, the parent might wish to modify their existing child support order.

Modifying child support in Texas

In Texas, there are two circumstances under which a parent can seek to modify a child custody order. The first situation is if three years have passed since the order was last established or modified, and the modified amount of the order would differ either by 20% from the current order or differ by $100 from the statutory child support guidelines.

The second situation in which a child support order can be modified in Texas is if there has been a change in circumstances since the order was last established or modified that is both material and substantial.

A material and substantial change in circumstances exists if the noncustodial parent’s income has gone up or down, if the noncustodial parent becomes legally responsible for another child, if the child’s medical insurance has changed or if the child now resides with a different parent.

Keep current with child support payments

If a parent experiences a material and substantial change in circumstances, they may think it is impossible to pay child support. Still, they should do all they can to keep current on child support payments until the modification is approved. The law holds them responsible for paying the current amount owed up until that amount is legally changed. If a parent does not pay what they owe, they can face consequences under the law.