One of the most critical—and complex—aspects of divorce in Texas is child support. Not only can it be difficult to set up in the first place, but it also typically needs to be modified over time. After all, income can change throughout the years, which means child support may need to be adjusted. If you’re considering initiating a motion to modify child support in Texas, here’s what you should know first.
How to Modify Child Support in Texas
If you need to change your child support agreement, Texas offers two options. You can either:
- schedule a court hearing
- go through the Texas child support review process (CSRP)
The latter is best for parents who can come to an agreement on the child support modification of court orders, and it’s also the faster option. Regardless, you can only change your child support agreement in Texas if you meet one of two qualifications.
The first is that there’s been a substantial change in circumstances since you last agreed to the child support details. The other option is that it’s been at least three years since you last set up or changed the child support agreement, and now the amount paid monthly is either $100 away or 20 percent away from the amount that would be ordered based on the current guidelines. If either of these applies, you can initiate a petition to modify child support in Texas.
What Does Texas Count as a Substantial Change in Circumstances?
When it comes to child support modification, Texas courts may allow it if you can prove that one of four types of changes has taken place.
- If the noncustodial parent’s income has either decreased or increased, child support may be adjusted.
- Another reason to modify child support in Texas is if the noncustodial parent now has additional children in his or her care.
- If the living arrangements for the children have changed
- If their medical insurance coverage is different, child support may need to be modified.
How Does Job Loss Affect the Child Support Agreement in Texas?
If you lost your job and need to find out how to reduce child support in Texas, you can submit a request for review. If you have no income right now, or if the new job pays less than your past position, the court may modify child support temporarily after considering your past income, current ability to work and the minimum wage.
However, it is important to continue making your regular payments while you wait for your Texas child support review to be completed and approved. If you get unemployment benefits while you look for a new job, child support will be withheld from those. Note that the court can withhold up to 50 percent of your unemployment benefits to ensure child support gets paid.
What Information Does the Texas Child Support Review Process Require?
Whether you’re trying to determine how to get more child support in Texas or need to reduce the amount you pay, the court will require certain information from both parents. For example, the court will need proof of the noncustodial parent’s income, such as pay stubs or tax forms. You will also be expected to provide information on the children’s health insurance costs, if applicable. Be sure to have this information available as you fill out Texas child support modification forms.
If you have any other questions about how to change child support in Texas, please contact Moffett Law Firm. Our Houston child support attorneys would be happy to walk you through the process of modifying child support in Texas.