In Katy, Greater Houston, and throughout Texas,
child support is typically ordered through a
paternity action or as a part of a
divorce case. However, what some parents do not realize is that child support
initially ordered is
subject to change.
Under what circumstances can child support be changed? A child support
order in Texas can be
modified under the following circumstances:
- It has been at least three years since the order was established, or
- It has been at least three years since the order was last modified and
the monthly child support obligation would be $100 or 20 percent different
from the current child support order under Texas’ child support
- There has been a significant change in circumstances since the last order
Note: If you are the paying parent, the only way your child support obligation
can change is by obtaining a
new court order. Even if your ex-spouse or partner verbally agrees to accept less, that
does not change your child support obligation and the court can initiate
collection actions against you if you fall behind.
What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances?
What would be considered a substantial or significant change in circumstances
to warrant an upward or downward modification? There are many possible
reasons but, generally, one of the following would occur:
- The noncustodial parent’s income decreased.
- The noncustodial parent’s income increased.
- The noncustodial parent has a legal obligation to support other children.
- The children moved in with the noncustodial parent, or are spending significantly
more time at their home than before.
- The children’s health insurance coverage changed.
Suppose you are the paying parent and you lost your job, does that mean
you are no longer obligated to pay child support? No. If you lose your
job and have no source of income, you will still be obligated to financially
support your children. When the court reviews your child support order,
it will calculate a modified child support amount, which will take into
consideration a number of factors.