When your needs as a parent change – you’ve taken a higher-paying (or lower-paying) job or your living circumstances have changed – modifying your child support agreement may be your only option.
Dallas family lawyers, Julie Johnson and Robin Rubrecht Zegen, understand the intricacies of family law in Texas and what the state requires from both parents in order to protect the best interests of the child(ren).
We can help you determine if you’re eligible for a modification of child support, and draft and file the petition to the court. Call our firm today at 214-265-7630 or complete our online case evaluation form. We offer flexible payment plans.
Getting The Court to Consider Modifying Your Child Support
Unfortunately, you and your ex-spouse can’t agree to the modification of a child support agreement without the court’s approval. You must file the appropriate pleadings and submit your agreement to the court for consideration. This is a process one of our experienced family law attorneys can help you with.
The court will consider modifying a child support order in the following situations:
- the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the child support order have materially or substantially changed; or
- it has been three years since the child support order was rendered or last modified and the monthly child support award differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the state’s established child support guidelines.
The state provides an online child support calculator that you can use to make a general estimate of what a current child custody order would entail. Keep in mind that this tool, while useful, does not apply in every scenario.
Demonstrating Your Circumstances Have Changed
Texas courts have determined a set of 10 material and/or substantial changes in circumstance that would allow for child support modification. These include:
- A change in your child’s primary residence.
- A determination that the person who pays child support is not the child’s biological father.
- An increase in the necessary expenses for your child.
- An increase or decrease in a parent’s financial ability to support the child.
- An increase or decrease in a parent’s salary.
- The birth of another child.
- A change in the cost to act as primary caregiver to your child.
- A significant change in a parent’s employment.
- A significant change in the amount of time a parent spends with your child.
- Incarceration of a parent.
The courts rely upon state laws to calculate modified child support. These factors include (but are not limited to):
- medical expenses; and
- total number of children to support.
Either party may seek modification of child support, provided the circumstances fit the guidelines listed above.
Start the Child Support Modification Process Today
The petition for child support modification must be completed properly or you run the risk of unnecessary delays or being denied. Our firm provides many affordable legal services. Call us at 214-265-7630 to learn more about modification of child support in Dallas.