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When is it possible to change an existing child support order?

Whether you were married or not, when you separated from the other parent of your child or children, a Texas court may have established an amount of child support that you would pay each month based on your and the other parent's financial situations.

That order may have made sense at the time, but we all know things change. If your circumstances no longer allow you to meet your current child support obligations, you may be wondering whether the court would entertain a request to adjust the amount you pay.

Do you have a temporary problem?

Perhaps you don't necessarily need for your child support payments to change permanently. If you lost your job or suffered an injury that will only keep you away from work for a few months, it may be possible to reduce your obligation for a short time.

If you will take over the duties as the primary custodial parent on a temporary basis due to an emergency or other significant circumstance on the part of the other parent, you may be able to receive a temporary modification to the existing order.

Do your circumstances require a permanent change?

On the other hand, you may need to make a permanent change. If you become permanently disabled and can't work, or if you can no longer earn the income you could prior to an injury, the court may modify the order. An injury may not be the only reason why you must make a career change that lessens your income. It will be up to the court to determine whether your circumstances warrant a permanent change.

Of course, in some circumstances, the other parent may request an increase in child support if your income increases significantly. If you remarry, an increase may be requested since you would technically have another income for support. The key is that the change is significant. Even as the court considers modifying your child support obligation, it always keeps the best interests of your child in mind.

Changing your child support order

If possible, you may want to discuss any change you need with the other parent. You may be able to come to an agreement without going to court. If the two of you agree and the change does not jeopardize the best interests of your child, the court will more than likely approve it.

Blindsiding the other parent with court documents may not work in your favor. However, if the other parent does not agree to work with you, going to court may be your only option.

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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
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Houston, TX 77056

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