Once a Texas child support order takes effect, you have an obligation to pay the full amount ordered unless you secure a court order dictating otherwise. In some circumstances, you may have an opportunity to have your child support order undergo review. If certain conditions exist, you may be able to ask the state’s family court system to review and change the amount you must pay your child’s other parent each month.
Per the Texas Attorney General, the first step in modifying your Texas child support order involves finding out whether you are eligible for a modification.
You may be able to move forward with making a child support modification request if your initial child support order took effect or underwent modification at least three years ago. Furthermore, the amount you are paying must differ from the amount current child support guidelines would determine by either $100 or 20%.
Sometimes, you may be able to request a child support modification before three years have passed. You may be able to do so if you experience something the state considers to be a “substantial and material change in circumstances.”
Defining “material and substantial change in circumstances”
Often, job loss or a pay cut constitutes a substantial and material change in circumstances. Other events or situations that may fall under this umbrella include you having more children to support or your child’s health insurance changing. If the child used to live primarily with the other parent and he or she now spends the majority of his or her time with you, this may also constitute a material and substantial change in circumstances.
Once you make a request for a child support modification, the next step involves you and your child’s other parent participating in a Child Support Review Process to try to come to a new agreement.