What Are Child Support Laws in Texas?

Texas has specific laws governing child support payments. They determine the amount of child support the paying parent must remit based on various factors. Overall, the figure is calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income and varies depending on the number of children that require child support in this relationship, as well as other children that the paying parent may be supporting from other relationships.

Legal experts from a family law and estate planning law firm in San Antonio explain that a court-ordered child support order can be subject to modification if it fails to uphold the child’s best interests. It may also be modified if the parents demonstrate substantial material changes warranting it.

What Are the Reasons for Modifying Child Support?

Being successful in a child support modification case requires that you understand the circumstances under which you can request the change. Child support attorneys in San Antonio highlight the following common grounds for modification:

  • Change in income: A substantial increase or decrease in a paying parent’s income is critical in child support determination. It can also be a basis for requesting a modification of the payments.
  • Change in employment: Factors such as career advancement, job loss, or a shift in employment status can significantly affect a parent’s ability to pay or receive child support. It is a legally recognized reason for requesting child support modification.
  • Medical expenses: A child needing specialized medical care can increase the financial burden for the custodial parent, making it necessary to pursue a modification to meet the increased costs. The change may also be essential if unexpected medical expenses arise.
  • Educational needs: A change in a child’s academic needs can necessitate the need for child support modification. Examples include enrollment in private school or pursuit of higher education.
  • Changing Needs of the Child: As children grow older, their needs become more expensive. A prior agreed support amount may no longer be sufficient. If it has been several years (usually at least 3 years) since the last child support adjustment, it may be time to adjust again.
  • Custodial arrangement changes: Changes in the custody or visitation plan can lead to reevaluating the child support order. The aim is to enhance a fair distribution of the financial responsibility.

If you wish to file a child support modification request and can demonstrate any of the above reasons for the modification, consult skilled San Antonio child support lawyers. They can guide you on the other nuances you need to know about the process.

How Do I Request a Review of My Child Support Order?

Once you determine a valid reason to request child support modification, you must familiarize yourself with the steps to navigate the process successfully. Experienced child support lawyers in San Antonio can help you do the following for a favorable outcome:

  • Gathering the necessary documents: Your request for modification must be accompanied by sufficient documentation that supports your case. Examples are the existing child support order, comprehensive financial records, receipts and invoices for reimbursable expenses, and evidence proving a substantial change in circumstances. You may want to combine your request for modification with a request for a judgment for past due child support, in which case you would need the record of past payments. Your lawyers can advise you depending on the case specifics.
  • Complete modification forms: Child support attorneys can guide you on the forms to fill out for the modification request according to the provisions in the Texas Family Code. The forms require detailed information about the concerned parties, income, and reasons for modification. Provide accurate information to minimize the risk of having your request denied.
  • Filing the forms: Once you complete them, the next step is to submit them to the family court, where you received the original child support order. You can find out from your lawyers about any filing fees that may be required at this stage.
  • Serving the other party: After filing the forms, you should send a copy to the other party involved, in this case, the non-requesting parent. Ensure you adhere to Texas’ legal service requirements to protect the validity of your case.
  • Attending the hearing: You and the other party should appear in court for a scheduled hearing where you will present your case, explain the reasons for the modification, and provide the necessary evidence. Be well-prepared and persuasive to influence a favorable outcome. It would also help to have legal representation from San Antonio child support lawyers. Your lawyer can assist not only in making a persuasive argument, but also in advising you on what types of evidence will be admissible.

What Type of Child Support Modification Can I Request?

Child support modification cases vary based on the case specifics, and courts consider various factors to accommodate different situations. Common types of child support modifications are:

  • Changes to custody arrangements: Child support modifications can relate to changes in custody arrangements. For example, if the living situation or circumstances of the custodial parent change, it may necessitate a change in the custody arrangement or travel arrangements and, subsequently, child support.
  • Adjustment to monthly payment amount: If you experience changes in your income as the paying parent, you can request an adjustment of the monthly support payments.
  • Modifications to medical or education expenses: If a child’s medical or educational needs change, you can request modification based on these additional expenses

In determining the type of modification to grant, courts will evaluate factors such as the child’s best interests, needs, and income changes. Consult skilled child support lawyers in San Antonio for a case evaluation. They can help you determine the validity of your modification request and file the application correctly.

A Skilled Family Law Attorney Helping You Navigate the Child Modification Process

Given the legal framework and requirements for filing a request, child support modification can be complex. The proceedings can also be demanding, and you need proper legal guidance to navigate the process. Experienced child support attorneys in San Antonio can provide invaluable advice and work with you to ensure you meet all the legal requirements.

Laura D. Heard Law Firm is a reputable family law firm with passionate child support attorneys. We can examine your case and help you navigate the intricate legal issues around determining and modifying child support. We can also provide legal advice and representation for other family law issues. Call us at 210-775-0353 to schedule a consultation.