Can My Child Support Order Be Changed?

Your Child Support Order may be modified if:

• It has been three or more years since the order was established or last modified and the monthly amount of the child support ordered differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to the Child Support Guidelines;
• A material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the child support order was last set.

The FIRST situation described, above, is simple enough: you have an old Order (it is 3 or more years old); and, the amount that should be paid each month according to the Texas Child Support Guidelines should be significantly higher or lower than the amount that is currently Ordered to be paid. In this situation, it is as simple as looking at the date of the Order, and the earnings of the person paying child support; and then, calculating what amount the guidelines say should be paid as child support each month.

The SECOND is determining whether a change in circumstances is “material and substantial” is not as easy as simply doing some mathematical calculations. Instead, a change that may seem important to a particular parent may not seem so important to the other parent; especially, if the change could be avoided by the Mother or Father experiencing that change. Some examples of these are: a parent’s voluntary change of employment; a move of residence; a new marriage; and, a child’s participation in an extracurricular activity.


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