Child Support Modification
Raising a child is a rewarding but costly experience, and in many instances, one parent will contribute more financially towards the child’s needs. As such, in many cases where a couple that shares a child ends their relationship, the courts will issue an order obligating one parent to pay the other child support. The courts aim to make fair determinations as to what constitutes an appropriate amount of support, but changes in circumstances can render an order that was once justified inequitable. Fortunately, the law allows parties subject to such orders to seek child support modifications. Proving a support obligation should be adjusted can be challenging, and it is smart for anyone seeking a modification to speak to an attorney. The dedicated Dallas child support attorneys of McClure Law Group are skilled at navigating the complexities of child support issues, and if you need assistance with a support matter, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome.Procedure for Seeking a Child Support Modification
A parent who wishes to alter an order pertaining to child support must file a suit for modification in the county that issued the current order, even if the child lives in another county in Texas. Either parent or any other party subject to the support order can file a suit for modification. Notice of the suit for modification will be provided to the other party or anyone else subject to the order. The court will then conduct a hearing during which it will receive evidence from the parties to determine if a modification should be granted.Grounds for Granting a Request for a Child Support Modification
A court will only modify an order obligating a party to pay child support, which includes an order for dental or health care coverage, under certain circumstances. Specifically, the party seeking a modification must show that the circumstances of either the child or a person impacted by the order have substantially and materially changed since the date the order was issued or the signing of the mediation or settlement agreement on which the order is based.
Notably, if the parties come to an agreement with regard to a child support modification and the amount agreed upon differs from the amount that would be awarded under the child support guidelines, they must nonetheless meet the burden of proof with regard to changed circumstances to be granted a modification.
The law does not define what constitutes a material and substantial change, but generally, it has been interpreted to mean a lasting condition that alters the financial situation of one of the parties, like a substantial raise, the loss of a job, or an illness. A change in a child custody arrangement may also be grounds for modifying a support award. Voluntary payments in an amount greater than the child support obligation do not constitute sufficient cause for increasing a support obligation.
A modification may also be granted if three years have passed since the order was issued or modified and the monthly amount of child support under the order deviates by either $100 or twenty percent from the amount that would be awarded under the current child support guidelines.Meet With an Experienced Dallas Lawyer
Child support is designed to ensure that children receive adequate financial support, but if an order is unfair to either parent, it may need to be modified. If you would like to request a change to a support order or were served with notice that your co-parent filed a petition for a modification, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your options. The experienced Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal outcome available under the circumstances. We frequently represent people in child support cases in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, Rockwall, and Garland. We also help parties with family law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us via our form online or by calling 214.692.8200 to schedule a consultation.