If you are a noncustodial parent in Texas and are currently paying child support to your child’s other parent, your needs may change over time, leading you to desire a change in the amount of support you must pay. Maybe you now have more children to support, or maybe you no longer have the high-paying job you did when the order initially took effect.
Regardless of the reasoning behind your wishes for a child support modification, your situation must meet certain circumstances if you wish to move forward with the process.
Texas child support modification eligibility
If you wish to change the amount of child support you pay your former partner, the first way you may be able to do so is if at least three years have gone by since your child support order took effect. Furthermore, the amount you pay each month must differ by either $100 or 20 percent of the amount the state’s existing child support guidelines dictate.
A second way you may be able to obtain a Texas child support modification is if you have experienced a material and substantial change in circumstances that impacts your ability to pay the set amount of support. Dramatic changes in income often constitute material and substantial changes in circumstances, and so, too, can having additional children to provide for a change in your supported child’s living arrangements.
Two modification methods
Changing the amount of child support you must pay can be done in two ways. If you and your ex agree to change the amount you pay, you can typically take part in a child support review process, which may prove quicker than a court hearing. If the two of you are not in agreement, however, a court hearing may be your only option.
Should you decide to move forward with a court hearing, know that there is no set timeline for obtaining a modification. The sooner you begin the process, however (provided at least three years have passed), the sooner you may be able to secure a manageable child support arrangement.