Fort Bend County, Texas is a bustling region in South Texas with economic opportunities for specific industries. However, not every industry is on the upswing with available jobs for workers with certain skills and experience.
If you are a single parent responsible for making child support payments to your ex-spouse, it can be difficult to keep up with payments while you are seeking work. If you have been out of work for a significant period of time, you may consider legally altering child support payments.
The key is understanding how the legal process works in Fort Bend County. Take a look at the following information that will help you understand how to win a child support modification case.
Insights Into a Child Support Modification in Fort Bend County
Whether you live in Sugar Land, Fulshear, Richmond, Rosenberg, Sienna, Pecan Grove, or another city in Fort Bend County, you can benefit from the following details about how child support modification works in your county.
Local Office to Work With
Some of their responsibilities include handling wage withholdings. For example, when the initial child support order was signed by a judge, there would have been a corresponding move to set up wage garnishments from your paycheck if you were employed.
If you have been out of work for a period of time, the Fort Bend County Child Support Office can provide support by referring you to the state office. They can help create an arrangement that ensures you continue making the proper child support payments to your ex-spouse.
State Office to Work With
When you are seeking a change to the original child support agreement, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will handle the case. You can request that the OAG review your situation to determine if you are eligible to receive a modification to your payments.
The OAG will review specific factors related to your situation:
- How long have you been out of work?
- Do you have other sources of income?
- Do you have unemployment benefits from your previous job?
- Can you obtain temporary work or part-time work?
The key is to continue making child support payments as best as possible during the review period. Please do not stop making payments, as you could be subject to contempt of court, which could result in penalties and fines.
Once the OAG reviews all pertinent information, they might issue a temporary order adjusting your child support obligations. They will also determine whether to advance your case to a legal court hearing, where you can formally request a modification to the original child support order.
Modifying a Child Support Order
If your request advances to a formal hearing, your case will be heard in family court in Fort Bend County. The key is to be able to prove that you have experienced a “material and substantial change in circumstances” that prevents you from fulfilling your original child support obligations.
You will be able to present information about how your employment changed, explain why you experienced a significant change in circumstances, and provide details about why you have been unable to find work to be able to continue making payments at the same level as before.
The judge will consider your arguments and then make a decision about whether to change the original court order. If the order is changed, the OAG will set you up with a lower amount of child support payments on the basis of the new court order.
How to Win a Child Support Modification Case: Work With a Family Law Attorney
Most importantly when pursuing a modification is to work with an experienced attorney. You will want to work with a family law attorney who can guide you through the process, present your arguments to the court, and serve as a strong advocate on your behalf.
It is difficult representing yourself before the court. To increase your chances of a favorable outcome during a child support modification hearing, we recommend working with one of our attorneys who has the knowledge and experience to support your case.
If you live in Fort Bend County, contact us today to learn more about how to win a child support modification case. You can reach our Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 to speak with one of our helpful attorneys about your existing child support obligations. We are here to help during this challenging time.