When you went through your divorce, you and your ex-spouse probably either negotiated child support payments or let a judge decide on the right amount. Now that you have some experience as a co-parent, you may have realized the support you receive is not adequate to provide for your son or daughter.
In Texas, it is possible to seek a modification of an existing child support order. Before you do so, though, you must be sure you have legal grounds to pursue the modification. In the Lone Star State, there are two options.
The passage of time
If more than three years have passed since your initial child support order or your last support order modification, you may ask a judge to rework the amount your ex-spouse pays. For a judge to do so, the Texas child support guidelines must indicate at least a 20% or $100 upward or downward change.
For a general idea of whether a modification may result in enough of a change to warrant a support modification, you can use the monthly child support calculator. Of course, this calculator is not legally binding.
A material change in circumstances
Regardless of how much time has passed, you may be able to pursue a modification of your existing support order if there has been a material change in circumstances. Among others changes, the following may be sufficient:
- A change in income
- A change in employment status
- A change in family composition
- A change in the needs of the child
It is important to note child support modifications are rarely retroactive. That is, even if you can document a material change in circumstances, a judge is only likely to modify the future support payments you receive