As your children grow and you and your spouse move on from your divorce, your family’s needs can change. Your current child support order may no longer suit your circumstances.
Whether you are paying or receiving child support, you should understand when it is possible to modify a child support order.
When and how can you modify child support?
Generally, you can modify a child support order if your current order has been in place for three years and the new monthly payment would be at least 20% or $100 greater or less than your current payment. Texas law also permits a modification if you have experienced a “material and substantial change in circumstances.”
If you and your ex can agree on a new arrangement, you can request a modification through the child support review process. If you can not agree, you may request a court hearing.
What is a substantial change in circumstances?
If you are the noncustodial parent, “material and substantial change” might mean a major change in your income or financial obligations, such as a new job or a new child to provide for. If your child’s living arrangements change, this may be a reason to modify child support.
Another potential reason for a modification is a change in your child’s medical needs or insurance coverage. If your child’s medical expenses increase or decrease, you or your spouse may be able to have your child support order modified.
Child support helps ensure that you and your ex both contribute to your child’s upbringing. As your child gets older, it may become necessary to modify child support.