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Is child support modification possible in Texas?

When a couple in Texas shares a child and one is ordered to pay child support, there is often a concern as to whether or not it can be modified. Those who are either the recipient of child support or the payer of child support can make the request for the order to be changed. It is necessary for there to be either a court hearing or a child support review process, otherwise known as CSRP, for this to happen. With a CSRP, there will generally be a faster result than a court hearing and it is more useful if the parents are able to come to an agreement regarding the order.

A child support order can be modified if one of the following factors are in effect: First, three or more years have passed since the order was implemented or modified and the amount paid per month differs by 20 percent or $100 from what would be awarded if the state guidelines were used; second, there must be a material and substantial alteration in the situation of a parent or the situations of both parents since the award was last put in place. It is important to remember that a court order is necessary for the modification to be done legally. An agreement between the parents does not change the order in the eyes of the law.

A material and substantial change in circumstances typically means the following: a noncustodial parent has experienced a rise or reduction in income; a noncustodial parent is not only responsible for the child in this particular case, but in other cases as well; the medical insurance coverage for the child has changed; or the living arrangements for the child have changed.

For those who are seeking a change to a support agreement, it is key to know how the State Attorney General's Office will deal with these issues so no mistakes are made and all the legal steps are taken. In order to move forward with a modification whether a recipient of child support or the paying parent, it is wise to discuss the matter with a legal professional.

Source: texasattorneygeneral.gov, "Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support Modifications," accessed on Nov. 9, 2015

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