In Texas family law cases, the courts will try to make sure children from a relationship are taken care of and their best interests are served. Part of that is making certain the custodial parent receives a sufficient amount in child support from the noncustodial parent.
The amount hinges on myriad factors including the child’s needs and the parents’ income. If an agreement is in place and the noncustodial parent wants it modified, it is imperative to go through the legal process to do so.
In some cases, they might feel justified in not paying what the order says if the custodial parent is now living with another person or if the noncustodial parent is facing financial difficulties from job loss or other unexpected expenses.
Regardless of why a person wants to modify the support agreement, it is essential to know how to do so. Also, parents should remember that the state will still enforce the order until it is changed. For these circumstances, having professional help can be key to being protected and achieving the goal of changing the payments.
How can I get a child support modification?
There are eligibility requirements for a child support modification. Either the order must have gone into effect or been modified more than three years before and the amount differs from the child support guidelines by 20% or $100, or there must be a material change in circumstances from the last calculation.
Material changes in circumstances involve a major difference in income and resources of either the non-custodial parent or the custodial parent. If the noncustodial parent becomes responsible for other children, this would qualify. Losing a job or facing a reduction in income for the job they have is another example.
Noncustodial parents could function under the mistaken belief that they will eventually have the order changed so they can go ahead and reduce the payments on their own. Or if there is discord with the custodial parent, they might stop making payments altogether. This will leave them vulnerable to enforcement actions including license suspensions, a passport denial or liens placed on their property.
Know the process for child support modifications and seek professional help
These family law cases can sometimes be contentious and difficult. It can be important for parents to learn about all their options.