Child support and parenting plans are typically part of a Texas divorce settlement. While that is the end of court proceedings for many families, life sometimes throws a curve ball. When circumstances change, the original court-ordered payment amount may become unsustainable. At the Law Office of Ellen Dixius, we often assist clients in making modifications to child support.
According to the Texas Attorney General, you can change the way you make child support payments at any time. However, only a court order can adjust the amount due. If your financial situation changes, it is critical that you pay as much as you can toward the obligation and work toward making modifications quickly. If you stop making payments, a 6 percent interest rate accrues, which means you will end up paying more when all is said and done.
Court ordered child support is eligible for adjustment under a few specific circumstances, one of which is a material and substantial change in circumstances since the current child support order. In these circumstances one of the following situations must apply:
- The non-custodial parent is legally responsible for additional children
- The parent paying child support has experienced a pay increase or decrease
- The child’s medical coverage changed
- The child currently lives with a different parent
The first step toward altering the existing court-ordered payment amount is completing and submitting a Request for Review form. The support order modification can come as the result of a court hearing or an in-office negotiation. You and your ex must agree to the adjustment for it to take effect as a result of the in-office discussions, also known as the Child Support Review Process; otherwise, the case must go to court. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.