How Do I Modify a Child Support Agreement?
Texas courts recognize that situations arise which necessitate the modification of a child support agreement. That said, there is a certain procedure that must be followed. One should not simply make a verbal agreement with the non-custodial parent. A Conroe child support attorney can help ensure that your rights and needs are protected.
Do I Have Grounds for Seeking a Modification?
Texas laws prevent individuals from seeking modifications on a whim. For instance, sometimes divorced parents retain a fair degree of animosity toward each other. Requiring specific grounds for a modification order discourages one party from seeking a modification based upon revenge.
In essence, the court must be shown that a “material and substantial change of circumstances” exists. You can also seek a modification if three years have passed. However, in such cases the change must differ by 20%.
What Constitutes a Material and Substantial Change?
Your Conroe child support attorney can help you ascertain whether you have grounds for seeking a modification of support. The following are some of the circumstances which fit the requirements:
- One of the parents loses a job.
- The child suffers a medical emergency.
- Temporary hardship on the non-custodial parent occurs.
- One of the parents remarries, thereby increasing that parent's financial ability to pay.
- The needs of the child change.
- A parent becomes disabled.
- The child becomes disabled.
Once it is determined that you have sufficient grounds, file a petition for modification with the appropriate family law court. You will be called to a hearing before the court. If both parties agree, the petition is granted. However, if a dispute arises the case may need to be tried in court.
Why Isn't an Oral Agreement Sufficient?
There is nothing wrong with sitting down with the other parent and working out a new child support payment. In fact, doing so can help expedite the court process, especially when one considers that often a delay results from the parties not being able to agree to the terms. An oral agreement becomes a problem when nothing is put into writing and the parties simply rely on memory.
If You Need to Modify an Existing Child Support Agreement
You can expect to need a modification of child support as the children age. It is important that you work with a Conroe child support attorney who will represent your best interests. Call Peterson Law Group today at 936-337-4681.
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