Texas laws allow child support modification to ensure that the child support remains fair and reflects the current situation of both parents and the child. Nonetheless, there are guidelines you should take note of before you can file a petition to modify support.
The general rule: Three-year waiting period
In Texas, you can seek a child support review and modification after three years from the issuance of the original order or from the last modification and if the existing child support monthly amount differs by either 20 percent or $100 from what would currently be awarded under the child support guidelines.
However, this waiting period is not absolute.
The exception: Substantial and material change
You do not have to wait three years to seek child support modification if the circumstances surrounding the child have materially and substantially changed since the original order.
What changes count as substantial and material? These refer to changes that affect the child’s well-being, positively or negatively. Common situations that fall under this exception are changes in either parent’s income, the child’s medical insurance coverage, and physical custody over the child.
Ultimately, the court determines whether your situation warrants modifying the current support order before the three-year period.
Prioritizing your child’s future
Decisions involving a child are crucial since they have long-term effects on the child’s development, health and overall well-being. Hence, courts follow specific guidelines, such as the 3-year waiting period, to ensure that they carefully evaluate the facts and circumstances and decide toward fulfilling the child’s best interests.
Nonetheless, there are possible exceptions for parents seeking earlier modification. Carefully reviewing your situation and exploring strategies can help you protect your child’s well-being.