Understanding child support modifications in Texas

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Child Support

Child support is crucial for ensuring that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. However, circumstances can change, making the original child support order unrealistic or unfair. It is important to understand how to request a child support modification in Texas.

When can you request a child support modification?

Under Texas Family Code Section 156.401, you can request a child support modification if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the last order. Common reasons include:

  • Change in income: A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income can justify a modification.
  • Change in child’s needs: If the child’s needs have changed significantly, such as needing medical treatment or special education, a modification may be necessary.
  • Change in custody arrangement: If the custody arrangement has changed, affecting the amount of time each parent spends with the child, this can impact child support.
  • Three-year review: If it has been three years since the last order, and the current amount differs by either 20% or $100 from the guideline amount, you can request a modification.

How to request a child support modification

When requesting a child support modification, the first step is to file a petition with the court that issued the original order. This can be done with or without the help of an attorney. Next, gather and present evidence that demonstrates a significant change in circumstances, such as pay stubs, medical bills, or new custody arrangements. Both parents will then attend a court hearing where a judge will review the evidence and decide whether to grant the modification. If approved, the new child support order must be followed. If denied, continue to follow the existing order.

Making informed decisions about child support modifications

Understanding when and how to request a child support modification in Texas is essential for ensuring that the child support order reflects your current circumstances. By following the guidelines set out in the law and staying organized, you can navigate the modification process more effectively.

FindLaw Network