Changing Child Support in Texas
In Texas, a payer or a recipient of child support can ask the court to change the amount of child support if the existing order has been in effect for over three years.
Technically, a person makes such a request by filing a petition to modify child support in the county that issued the last child support order. If the child no longer lives in the same county, it may be possible to change jurisdiction. After a child has lived in the new county for six months, either parent can request the new county court to acquire jurisdiction via a timely transfer request. The time requirements for filing a transfer request depend on who is filing the request and why, as set forth in Section 155.204.
A petition to modify child support must state factors demonstrating a material and substantial change in circumstances. Under the Texas system of calculating child support, the change of circumstances is considered “material” if it results in at least $100 difference or a twenty percent difference in child support. Meeting either benchmark will satisfy the material change in circumstances rule.
To find out whether your change in circumstances warrants a change in child support, your attorney will run a basic calculation according to the guidelines contained in Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code.
Generally, a non-custodial parent of one child pays child support equal to twenty percent of his or her net resources. If there are two children, child support is twenty-five percent of net resources and continues to increase by five percent of net resources for each child up to a total of six children. If the parties have more than six children, then child support cannot be less than forty percent.
Key phrases such as “net resources” are defined by statute or interpreted by case law, and as with most areas of law, there are exceptions to the general rules.
If you believe child support should be changed due to a material change in circumstances, seek the help of an experienced family law attorney and file your petition immediately. A court can change child support retroactively, but only as far back as the date you're your case was filed. If your circumstances warrant a change in child support, you should consult an attorney and file your case as quickly as possible.
If you need help changing a child support obligation in Texas, seek the help of an experienced family law attorney. Call the Peterson Law Group at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014. Our experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorneys will stand up for your rights and protect your interests.