Dec 29, 2021

Can I Get My Child Support Lowered?

The law requires both parents to financially support a minor child until that child reaches the age of majority. When the parents do not live together, either because they ended a marriage or because they never married, one parent is usually ordered to pay child support. If you are the parent paying child support, and you feel you are paying too much, you would undoubtedly like to pay less. A Fort Worth divorce lawyer at Boyd Family Law explains when and how child support can be modified in Texas.

Can Child Support Ever Be Modified?

Whether as part of a divorce or paternity action, one parent is initially ordered to pay child support to the other parent. That initial determination is considered a final order of the court; however, orders relating to child support and child custody (referred to as conservatorship in Texas) are unique within the legal system in that those “final” orders are frequently modified down the road.

Therefore it is possible to modify an existing child support order in Texas. To do so, one of the following must be true:

  1. At least three years have elapsed since the child support order was entered or modified by the court AND the current monthly amount of the child support order differs by either (a) 20% or (b) $100 from the amount that would be awarded, according to child support guidelines. OR
  2. There has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the most recent child support order was entered.

Understanding a “Material and Substantial Change in Circumstances”

When used in the context of a request to modify child support, a “material and substantial change in circumstances” typically refers to a change in the needs of the child or a change in the financial situation of one of the parents. For instance, if a child now has special physical or emotional needs that have increased the costs associated with caring for the child or if a parent now has a new child for which he/she is financially responsible.

How Do I Request a Modification of Child Support?

You can go through the Child Support Review Process (CSRP) at the Texas Attorney General’s Office; however, that can be a lengthy process, particularly if the other parent chooses not to be cooperative. Your other option is to retain the services of a divorce lawyer and petition the court for a modification. An attorney can typically get your request for a modification in front of a judge much faster than the CSRP route which, in turn, means that the requested change can be implemented much sooner as well.

Contact a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer

If you have additional questions or concerns about modifying child support in Texas, contact an experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyer at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.