Once you and your child’s other parent have a child support order take effect in Texas, the only way you can change the terms of that order is to request a modification. To request a review of your current child support order, you must first meet certain eligibility terms. You also need to demonstrate that your situation is now substantially different than it was when your existing child support order took effect.
If you meet specific eligibility requirements, you can request a child support order review, regardless of whether you are the parent who pays or receives support. How can you know whether you may be eligible for a child support modification?
Assessing child support review eligibility
To move forward with a child support review, your situation must meet several distinct circumstances. You may request a child support order review if your existing order took effect, or most recently underwent modification, at least three years ago. You may also request a modification if circumstances have changed to the point where the paying parent is paying either 20% or $100 more or less than current child support guidelines would dictate. Conversely, you may be able to pursue a child support review if you have experienced a “material and substantial change in circumstances” since your existing order took effect.
Understanding “material and substantial change in circumstances”
Several different life events may constitute a material and substantial change in circumstances. If the paying parent has more children he or she must now support, this may count as a material and substantial change in circumstances. If the paying parent’s income has increased or decreased, or if the child’s insurance coverage has changed, these situations may also present valid reasons for a child support order review.
If you are the parent paying child support, make sure you continue to do so while your case is ongoing. Failing to keep up with payments may leave you facing interest fees and related expenses.