The amount of child support to be paid is generally based on the paying parent's income and his or her ability to pay. There are factors, however, that may require modification of a Texas child support order.
Essentially, there are two reasons that a court will modify child support:
- At least three years have passed since the order was made or modified, and the monthly amount the parent is ordered to pay differs either by $100 or 20 percent from the amount the parent would pay based on the Texas child support guidelines.
- Or there has been a substantial material change in circumstances since the support order was made or last modified.
What constitutes a substantial material change in circumstances?
A number of factors could result in a material change in circumstances that the court will consider before modifying a child support order:
- The paying parent's income has changed significantly, either up or down.
- The paying parent is now legally responsible for children other than the children covered by the child support order.
- There has been a change in the child's living arrangements.
- There has been a change in the child's medical insurance coverage.
There may be special considerations for military parents who pay child support.
Depending on your specific situation, if you start active military duty or are deactivated from it, the change may result in a reduction or increase in total monthly income, or your child's insurance coverage could be affected.
Military parents facing this situation can request that their child support order be reviewed for possible modification.
(Note: a child support order can only be modified by obtaining a new order from the court; an informal agreement between the parents does not change the court-ordered amount.)
If you have questions about any of these matters in the Fort Worth area, then don't hesitate to contact a local family law attorney.