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Modifying Texas maintenance orders

Financial changes or changes in other circumstances lead some people in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area who are subject to a spousal maintenance order to seek a termination or modification of the prior order. Until and unless a court grants a requested modification, however, the payer must continue making his or her payments as ordered under the existing order.

Texas statutory law defines how a modification request may be filed and under what grounds. A modification that reduces the ordered amount may be granted if the person who is affected by the order files a motion requesting the modification.

The moving party must file the motion, a notice and a summons with the court. The court will provide a court date. The moving party will then need to serve the other party with copies of the notice, motion and summons. The respondent then may file a response to the motion to modify with the court within 20 days of receiving the documents. The court will then hold a hearing on the motion, and after taking evidence, will issue its ruling as to whether the requested relief will be granted.

Until and unless a motion to modify is granted, the payer is under a court order to make the ordered monthly payments. Failing to make the payments can lead to contempt proceedings and other consequences. When circumstances have changed to a degree necessitating a modification of ordered alimony, people should file a motion to modify the order with the court while continuing to make payments as ordered until and unless the court modifies the order. Any back amounts owed under the old order will still remain even if the order is later modified. If people have questions, they may wish to consult with a family law attorney.

Source: TEXAS FAMILY CODE, "CHAPTER 8. MAINTENANCE", November 06, 2014

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