Child support is one of the many obligations parents have to their children. When a couple separate, the court awards child support to ensure both parents provide equal support to the children involved. In Texas, child support orders are reviewed every three years. If there is a significant change in income or an increase in monthly expenses, you can request that the court review your current child support order to determine if a decrease is fair, based on the circumstances.
Meet the criteria to file for a child support modification. A written agreement between parties is not enough to change a child support order. The court will need to determine if an adjustment is warranted. In Texas, you should experience a decrease of either 20 percent or $100 based on the child support guidelines. Even a change in income does not guarantee a modification.
Gather documents to support your request. The court will need evidence to show a significant decrease in income or increase in expenses for the party paying support. Prepare to provide a letter from your employer, an unemployment application, pay stubs or medical bills.
Go to your local family court to obtain a motion to modify child support. You can also download the form online.
Complete the paperwork. You will need to provide your original child support case number, personal and financial information for both parties and the reason you are requesting the child support modification. Include copies of your documents.
File the motion at the courthouse. Return the paperwork and pay the filing fee. Texas charges a $15 filing fee to modify existing child support orders. The other parent must be notified of your request to lower child support and will receive a copy of the petition. If the judge decides there are grounds to lower support, a hearing will be scheduled.
Continue making your normal child support payment. You cannot stop paying child support or reduce the amount paid until the judge grants a child support modification.
Attend the hearing that must be attended by both parents. If the other parent does not show, the hearing will be held regardless. The judge will review the facts and may request to hear both sides before making a final decision. The modification will take effect immediately if the request is approved.
- Divorce Help: Texas Modification of Child Support
- Attorney General of Texas: Frequently Asked Questions
- Divorce Law Texas: Modification of Child Support Orders in a Texas Divorce
- Administration for Children and Families."Changing a Child Support Order," Page 1. Accessed Jan. 3, 2020.
- Administration for Children and Families. "Changing a Child Support Order," Page 5. Accessed Jan. 3, 2020.
- Justia. "Modification of Final Judgments." Accessed Jan. 3, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.