Situations that warrant modification
In Texas, modification of a child custody or child support order must go through the court system. You and your ex cannot simply agree to make significant changes and carry them out. In most cases, the court that issued your previous child support orders would still have jurisdiction. In other words, the same court would have to rule on your modification request.
Life is dynamic and often in flux. When lifestyle changes are substantial and affect your children, consider modification. It is best to discuss it with your ex-spouse and also with a family law attorney.
What situations warrant modification of a child custody or child support order?
Substantial changes would include major changes in the:
- Child’s living arrangements
- Amount of care a parent is providing for the child
- Parent’s employment (whether quitting a job, being laid off or working reduced hours)
- Residence relocation of a parent or child
- Child’s needs (medical treatment, schooling, extra-curricular activities)
- Parent’s financial situation (the birth of another child, income loss or increase)
- Expenses for custody or visitation
- Time spent with the child
- Child being subjected to abuse or a family violence conviction of a parent
- Incarceration of a parent
Modification of child support after three years
After a court order has been issued for three years, it is not necessary to prove substantial change to modify child support. If monthly child support payment differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the original order, the court can modify the order.
Dealing with modification
If you and your ex agree on the modifications, requesting modification will go much easier.
However, what if your ex is requesting a modification that is frivolous? In other words, the modification being requested is not major or substantial? Or, what if your ex is filing a modification request because they want to harass you?
Under the Texas Family Code, if the court finds that the above occurred, it will assess the attorney’s fees as costs against your ex-spouse.
Speak with an experienced family law attorney
If you have issues with child custody or support, get a legal opinion. Gain understanding of what is in your children’s best interests and how to protect their rights. Contact us online or call 972.752.3474.