Modifying Child Support
Divorce Decrees are final orders. However, that doesn’t mean that what is in there can never be changed. Child support can be changed under certain circumstances. And, effective in 2015, two specific ways the court may modify or change child support are included in divorce decrees.
It is required to be included (in bold font, capital letters or underlined) in the actual final decree of divorce that the court may the child support under one of two circumstances: (1) if the circumstances of the child or another person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed or (2) it has been three years since the last order and the child support ordered under the guidelines now would be a change by 20% or $100 from the child support ordered in the earlier order.
Material and Substantial Change
A material and substantial change of circumstance includes those changes that happen in lives. Some examples of the types of changes this includes are the loss of a job, a demotion in the workplace, decrease in income because of change to job, or having another child to support outside of this parent-child relationship. These factors could be in play for a decrease in child support. Other material and substantial changes could occur that might mean an increase is in order including an increase of income or a reduction in the number of children being supported outside of this parent-child relationship. And, remember this also contemplates that a child could be the one who has had material and substantial changes enough to require a child support modification.
Three Years since the Last Order
If three years has passed since the last child support order, child support can be modified if the obligor’s income has changed so much that the child support ordered under the guidelines in the Texas Family Code would differ by 20% or $100. It is important to remember that a child support change under this section of the statute does involve knowing how much the obligor is making for the court to be able to make that determination for either an increase or decrease.
Child support obligations can be changed and if you have questions about your child support call today to make an appointment.
Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454