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What are the requirements to change a child support order in Texas?

Child support is intended to provide necessary financial support for the millions of children in America living primarily with one parent.  Child support orders are determined by weighing a number of factors, including both parents’ monthly income and contributions to the child’s expenses.  At times, circumstances will change that require a current child support order be modified.  Our Midland, Texas child support attorneys discuss how you can change a child support order below.

Petitioning to Change a Child Support Order

To change a child support order that you are paying or request alteration of the amount of child support your child currently receives, you will need to file a request in the applicable court in your area. Child support orders cannot be modified by the parents alone; they must be altered through a court hearing or through a child support review process.  

One of the following grounds must exist in order for your child support order to be modified: 1) the order is over three years old and the award varies by $100 or 20 percent from what would be required according to the child support guidelines; or 2) a material change in circumstances has occurred since creation or last modification of the child support order.  

A material and substantial change in circumstances could include an increase or decrease in the non-custodial parent’s income, a change in the child’s living arrangements, medical insurance needs, or the non-custodial parent becoming responsible for more children.  If you are the party petitioning for modification of the child support order, you should come armed with evidence to support the requested change.  Non-custodial parents requesting modification will similarly want to come prepared with income records or birth records to support a need to decrease their payments.

Child support obligations are quite serious and failure to pay child support could result in garnishments and potentially even face jail time.  If you are a non-custodial parent that needs to modify a current child support order or the custodial parent that believes their child should receive more in support, contact a Texas child support attorney for assistance.