When there is a child support order in Texas, the amount is based on several factors including the income of the parent who will be paying it and the child’s needs. The goal is to serve the child’s best interests. However, there are times when a parent needs to ask for a modification.
Key points about child support modifications
It is important to know when and why to ask for a child support modification. Since income is a primary part of the amount, any changes can warrant the support order being adjusted accordingly. If the parent who is paying child support – also referred to as the obligor – has an increase or a decrease in their income, then a modification request can be made.
For example, the obligor could see a bump in salary from a promotion. They might get a new and better paying job. Or they could come into money through an unexpected windfall. The custodial parent can subsequently ask that the support order reflect the better circumstances.
The same is true if a parent sees their income decline. It could be from job loss, a downturn in their business, retirement or working fewer hours. The support order must account for the child’s needs regardless of the income situation.
Medical needs could also justify a modification. If the child has a condition, an illness or needs treatment that exceeds health insurance coverage, this can be addressed through a modification.
The same is true if the child needs special education services or takes part in costly extracurricular activities. A modification can be temporary or permanent. The court will assess each case on its merits as it does with all areas of family law.
Know the steps for a child support modification
No two cases are the same. Therefore, it is important to know how to provide specific information to achieve the desired objective. The legal system can seem complicated, particularly when asking that an order that is already in place be modified. It is vital for parents to know the steps and justification to receive a child support modification.