How Do I Get A Child Support Reduction In Texas?
Do you believe that your monthly child support obligations are too high given your current financial or family circumstances? You may be entitled to a reduction in child support payments. That being said, you will not be able to get a reduction simply because you want one. You must show good cause that a reduction in child support obligation is justified given the totality of the circumstances. Below, our Houston child support attorney discusses the key things to understand about getting a reduction in child support payments in Texas.
Texas Law: Modification of Child Support
Once a child support order is in place, it is presumed to be appropriate. In Texas, an ongoing family law obligation—including child support—can be modified. However, the party seeking a modification must prove that a change is appropriate. Under Texas Family Code Sec. 156.401, child support can be modified—either increased or decreased—if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances.
What You Need to Prove to Get a Child Support Reduction in Texas
You may be wondering: What constitutes a material and substantial change in circumstances sufficient to justify a child support reduction in Texas? The answer depends on the specific facts of the case. One of the key factors is whether or not the child support guidelines were followed when the amount of child support was initially determined. Here is what you need to prove to get a child support reduction in Texas:
- Getting a Child Support Reduction When Guidelines Were Used: If the Texas child support guidelines were followed when calculating your financial obligations, then the state statute provides additional guidance for what constitutes a material and substantial change in circumstances. If it has been three years since the child support payments were started and the new child support order would differ by 20 percent or $100 per month, then there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This can justify a reduction in payments.
- Getting a Child Support Reduction When Guidelines Were Deviated From: The child support guidelines in Texas are presumed to be appropriate. However, state law recognizes that there are exceptions. If the guidelines were not followed in setting the child support amount, a court must review the specific facts of the case to determine if the change in circumstances is “material and substantial” to justify a reduction in monthly payments.
Tip: It can sometimes be easier to get a reduction in child support obligations if you can work out an agreement with your co-parent. While certainly not a viable option in all cases, it is certainly something that should be considered.
Schedule a Confidential Case Review With a Houston, TX Child Support Attorney
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Texas family law attorney handles all types of child support matters. If you are seeking a reduction in your child support payments, we can help you navigate the process. Contact us today to set up a completely confidential case review. From our office in Houston, we handle child support cases throughout Southeastern Texas.