HOW TO REQUEST A CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION DURING COVID-19

You Must Demonstrate a Change in Circumstances

Texas only allows child support orders to be altered in certain circumstances. To be eligible for a child support modification, you must meet one of the following two criteria:

  1. Three (3) years have passed since the order was entered or last modified and the amount owed currently differs by more than 20 percent from the state guidelines; or
  2. You have experienced a “material and substantial” change in circumstances.

In other words, a request for a child support modification will only be approved if something major has changed. It could be a substantial increase or decrease in parental income, the loss of a job, the birth of another child, or changing medical needs. Regardless, the party seeking a modification must demonstrate a significant change.

An Overview of How to Modify a Child Support Order in Texas

As far as the process is concerned, you cannot modify a Texas child support order through an informal agreement. You must follow the proper protocols to get official approval for the modification. Parents seeking a modification have two basic options:

  1. Child Support Review Process (CSRP): CSRP is an administrative process that allows parents to negotiate a modification of a child support order. It is the faster, more straightforward way to obtain a modification.
  2. Court Hearing: If you cannot reach a resolution through CSRP, you can seek a child support modification through a court hearing. As court hearings are complicated, parties should seek guidance from an experienced child support attorney.

Remember, a child support modification — whether you are seeking to increase the payments you are receiving or reduce your own financial obligations — will only be approved if you can demonstrate a material and substantial change in circumstances.

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