Can a Child Support Order Be Changed?
When parents divorce, they remain financially obligated to care for any children until adulthood. If a child is disabled to the extent that he cannot take care of himself upon reaching majority, the parents can be financially responsible for his care for life. Child support orders are legally binding, and avoidance of payment can lead to both civil and criminal penalties. However, an occasion may arise when a parent needs to request that the existing order be changed. It is important that you work with a child support attorney in College Station should such a circumstance occur.
Changing Child Support Orders
A child support order cannot simply be changed on a whim. However, should a material change in circumstances occur, a judge can rule that the existing order be changed.
It is never a good idea simply to depend upon a verbal agreement made with the other parent, however. Such agreements do not have legal grounds, and can lead to problems later. For instance, let's say that the mother receives a significant promotion at her work. She and the father then agree verbally that the latter does not need to pay the full amount of support ordered by the court. After a number of months pass, the mother then demands that the father pay the unpaid balance he owes. She will win should the matter go to court, for a change needs to be made in writing and approved by a family court.
Grounds for Changing an Order
In order to obtain a change in a child support order, a significant change in circumstances must exist. Among reasons for which a court may approve a change are:
- The needs of the child changed
- One parent's financial ability has changed significantly
- An inheritance or other increase in financial circumstances occurs
- A parent loses his or her job
Contact a Child Support Attorney in College Station for Legal Assistance