How to Modify Child Support After the Fact

If you’re curious about how to modify child support payments, there are a few basic things you should know. As children grow up, their needs change. Extracurricular activities, medical and dental care, and other basic and vital needs can become more expensive. At the same time, a parent’s circumstances can also change. Losing a job, getting a better job, moving, or getting remarried are examples of material changes that can impact child support. If you think that the child support payments you’ve been making or receiving should be updated, you’ll need a court order. This begins by petitioning the court for a modification. The best course of action when figuring out how to modify child support may be to consult with your divorce attorney.

Texas law states that if it has been three years since the child support order was issued or last modified, a new order can be issued. Even if it’s been less time than that, support payments can be modified based on changed circumstances. At this point, how to modify child support will depend on the exact changes. If the current calculated support amount differs at least 20% or $100 a month from what was originally issued, a new child support order may be granted. If the needs of the child suddenly change—if they need specialized dental or medical care, for example—a new child support order might be issued for that as well.

Modification of child support payments is best done through the court system. Although it’s not unheard of for couples to agree to a different payment schedule or amount on their own, this is not recommended. Meticulous attention to paperwork is an essential component of how to modify child support payments. So seasoned attorney with experience in family law is the most effective way to get the result you want. If your former spouse agrees to your requested changes, the process can be very short. If not, having a lawyer on your side can be a tremendous help.

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