One of the issues divorced or separated parents have to deal with is child support. This is a court-directed payment that is designed to take care of the child’s living needs. The failure to fulfill this obligation can result in serious legal consequences.
However, as the saying goes, the only thing constant in life is change. Child support, just like child custody, is never permanent. Texas law allows parents to petition for child support modification under certain circumstances.
Not everyone is eligible for child support modification
Child support modification does not happen automatically. One or both parents must formally file a modification request with the court. To be eligible for modification in Texas, one of the following has to be true:
- There’s been a substantial, material change in circumstances since the order was decided (such as due to the needs of the child greatly increasing or one parent’s income greatly decreasing).
- It’s been three or more years since the last order was made and the change in support due would be either 20% or $100 different than the current order.
What are material and substantial changes in circumstances?
Aside from significant changes in a child’s needs or a parent’s income, other issues could include situations where the non-custodial parent assumes legal responsibility for additional children or end up taking more of the parenting time for their child.
Every parent has a duty to provide and care for their child. However, when life changes make it difficult for you to fulfill your child support obligation, it is important that you find out if you can petition the court for a modification.