A Child Support Modification Can Ease Your Budget
Many people struggle with child support payments. Paying parents may have difficulty affording child support while paying bills and managing other financial obligations, particularly with a change in circumstances. The receiving parent may not be getting payments on time, in full, leading to difficulty paying bills.
At Law Office of Randy Mora, PLLC, we understand how important child support is to everyone involved, and how complicated the situation can become. Experienced family law attorney Randy Mora regularly helps custodial and noncustodial parents understand their current obligations, obtain deviations from the Texas child support guidelines and modify existing child support orders.
An award-winning lawyer, including being named to the Top 40 Under 40 by The National Advocates in 2016 and 2017, Mr. Mora can ensure you protect your financial and legal rights to the fullest extent.
Deviations From The Texas Child Support Guidelines
The Texas Child Support Guidelines are a straightforward tool to provide predictable and consistent results in determining child support. Quite simply, it takes the income of the parent paying support and the number of children involved, and comes up with a percentage based solely on those factors.
While simple, this does not take into account unique family circumstances. In some cases, this could result in an “unjust or inappropriate” result. When this occurs, a judge can deviate from the guidelines.
However, the petitioner seeking the deviation must not only prove that the amount under the guidelines is unjust, but also establish an amount that is just.
Guidelines For Modification
Texas courts will make modifications to existing child support orders, provided specific conditions are met. Generally speaking, a modification will only be approved if it falls into one of the following categories:
- Both parents/parties agree to the modification
- There has been a substantial change to the circumstances of one of the parties involved in the case, including a conviction of a family violence crime, a mental health issue, the use of drugs by a parent, etc.
- The request for modification meets the ” three-year rule“
The “three-year rule” allows for modification without demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances after three or more years since the order was last established or modified. In this instance, the child support ordered must differ by either $100 or 20 percent, from the amount that would be ordered under child support guidelines.
You must file a petition with the court to change the existing order as soon as possible. Unless the court modifies the order, all existing orders will remain in place, in full, regardless of your circumstances. And you will owe past due child support even if you successfully modify your support order.