Can Child Support or Possession Schedules and Custody be modified?
Unfortunately, not everyone fulfills their court-ordered obligations. If that has happened to you, then you may need to seek a modification.
Child Support Modification
A parent cannot just choose to start paying a lower amount of child support, even if both parents agree on it. Only a court can change the amount of child support that a party is required to pay, and the new amount must be determined through a child support modification.
A modification of child support in Texas can occur under two circumstances: Has it been at least three years since the last child support order? If so, you may be eligible for a modification if the newly requested amount would result in at least a 20% variance, or the new amount would be at least a $100 difference from the previous amount ordered.
However, if the prior order wasn’t based on the Texas Family Code Guideline percentages for support (20% for one child, 30% for three children, etc.), then the parent seeking the modification must show a “material and substantial” change in circumstances, even if it has been more than three years since the last order.
The second circumstance is when a “material and substantial” change in circumstances has occurred in the parent’s life. This could include things such as:
- An increase or decrease in the obligor’s (the one paying support) income that typically equals at least a 25% change.;
- A change in health or dental insurance coverage that affects the child, or if the child’s medical condition has changed since the last order;
- The child’s living arrangements change; or
- The noncustodial parent has become legally responsible for more children.