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How can child support modifications be requested and approved?

Divorced couples in Texas may find that over time, their needs, income and situations change, but the responsibility of caring for children remains. When the custodial or physical parent needs an adjustment made to child support, there is a process to go through to get what they need to handle the everyday living needs of their children. For those parents whose jobs have changed and they may be making less money and want to request a change to the amount they are paying, there is also a process to go through, according to the Attorney General of Texas.

For a child support order to be modification eligible, it must meet one or more of the following requirements:

  •          The last modification or establishment was more than three years prior
  •          A substantial and material change in circumstances has occurred
  •          The monthly child support amount differs by $100 or 20 percent of what would be awarded

To quality as a substantial or material change in a circumstance, the noncustodial parent’s income must have decreased or increased, the child’s medical insurance must have changed, or the noncustodial parent has become legally responsible for more children. A change is also considered adequate if the child has moved in with another parent.

A child support order can only be changed through a court hearing or an in-office negotiation. Informal agreements have no bearing on the amount the court has ordered the parent to pay. Those with an open or active child support case can request a formal review no the attorney general’s website but may benefit from doing so with the help of an attorney.

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