As a parent, you want to adapt to your child’s changing needs. Your child support order should reflect those changes, too. Texas law allows you to request a modification to your child support order if it has been more than three years since the order was established or modified. However, not all changes in your life make you eligible for modification.
1. Have you or your ex had a promotion?
A promotion is often a chance for parents to provide more for their children. An increase in income could allow a paying parent to better meet their child’s needs on their own or to offer more in their monthly support payment. Taking this new income into account, you may request a modification if the newly-calculated support order would differ from your current payments by 20% or $100 per month.
2. Have you lost your job or experienced a pay cut?
Job loss, furlough and pay cuts can all put a serious strain on your budget, and modification could help you better meet your child’s needs in this difficult time. You may be eligible to receive larger support payments or to pay less given this new income.
3. Does your child have new health challenges?
Whether your child struggles with a serious illness, they become disabled or their health insurance becomes substantially more costly, you should have the support you need to support their medical needs.
4. Are you changing your custody arrangement?
If you need to modify your custody arrangement, it is essential to consider whether your support order should change with it. If you have custody of your children for more nights each week in your new custody arrangement, the support payments you receive should reflect that new parenting schedule.
5. Has your child gotten older?
Sometimes, the passage of time can bring big changes. If your child was very young when you and your ex divorced, their school years often mean that you will pay less for childcare. If your child needs additional support in school, this could involve costs that your previous support order did not account for.
If your life has changed substantially, your child support order may need to change with it. Through a modification, you can give your child the support they need in your current life circumstances.