When parents are divorced and have a child support order in place, there are sometimes circumstances when it needs to be changed. This is called a modification.
In Texas, parents may be eligible for a modification if the child support order was established or last modified more than three years ago or the monthly amount of child support differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to the state’s child support guidelines.
It may also be modified if the parents have a material and substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order was set. This may apply if the noncustodial parent’s income has increased or decreased, the noncustodial parent is legally responsible for other children or the child’s medical insurance coverage has changed.
If the noncustodial parent’s income has increased, it is possible that the amount of child support he or she is required to pay will go up.
Informal agreements and timeframe
Informal agreements between parents cannot change the child support order. It can only be changed by a court hearing or a negotiation called the Child Support Review Process.
In the review process, both parents must agree to the newly calculated amount. If they do not agree, the court will consider the modification request.
There is no set timeframe for when the modification will take effect. It often depends on the cooperation of both parents and their willingness to provide information to determine the new amount.
Child support orders and calculations can be complex. An experienced attorney can help parents with this issue and related matters.