Life is fluid. If you are currently obligated to pay child support, there may be times when you feel defeated trying to keep up, especially if you have a change in circumstances that affects your ability to meet the legal requirements of a court order.
Child support orders are set in place to ensure the best possible situation for both the parents and the children. But when your situation changes, it can feel like you’re sinking in order to meet your responsibilities.
It can feel especially overwhelming if you recently modified a child support order and now want to pursue another modification due to a change such as job loss or decline in pay. Because of the serious nature of Texas law regarding child support, the first question you might ask is how often can child support be modified?
Texas Law on How Often Child Support Can Be Modified
According to Texas law, child support orders can be modified under a variety of situations. Primarily, the order can be modified for almost any reason three years after it was either established or last modified.
But what if you need to pursue a modification within three years because your circumstances changed? Fortunately, Texas law allows for child support to be modified if there has been a “material and substantial change” regarding the circumstances of the child support order. To classify as material and substantial, one of several factors must be considered.
– If one parent has had a significant change in income, for example. This change can be positive or negative. If your income is significantly greater or less than when the order was last modified, you could be eligible to modify the order.
– Other reasons for pursuing a modification to a child support order include a change in the child’s living arrangements or a change in the number of children that a parent is responsible for.
As a family law attorney, I can help you determine whether you should pursue another modification, help you determine whether your circumstances meet the threshold of “material and substantial,” and work to make sure your children are considered during the legal proceedings.
Keep Paying Child Support While Pursuing a Modification
Texas takes child support matters very seriously. If a non-custodial parent does not meet the requirements placed on them by a child support order, the state will consider taking action against the parent to ensure the child’s needs are met.
This could include liens against bank accounts, insurance plans, property, and other assets. Even your credit report could be negatively impacted. These liens are based on the requirements set forth in the existing order, so it’s important that the order stays current with your financial circumstances.
During this difficult time, you should still continue to pay child support and do your best to meet the obligations of the current order so that you can avoid penalties and avoid possibly being held in contempt of court. The last thing you want is to add penalties, fines, and liens on top of your changing financial situation.
Talk to Blair Parker About Modifying the Court Order
If you are unemployed or recently experienced a reduction in pay, you could be struggling to make necessary child support payments. If your income is significantly lower than when the child support order was set, reach out to me right away so that we can work on a modification.
Alternatively, if the paying parent’s income has significantly increased, or if your child’s needs have dramatically changed, you may be entitled to an increase in your child support payments.
You want to work with an experienced attorney specializing in family law to guarantee the best possible outcome for yourself and your children. I focus my practice exclusively on family law so that I can help you navigate the family law courts in Texas.
I will work with you every step of the way to guarantee your rights are protected. These situations are difficult, so let’s get to work. Over the past decade, I have helped parents in Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Harris County navigate the legal system to modify a child support order.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss the specific details of your situation. I look forward to helping you.