When circumstances change, the current court-ordered child support payment may no longer be sufficient for your son or daughter’s needs. Conversely, the parent who pays support may get a higher-paying job or experience a pay cut.
Learn how parents can request child support modification in Texas.
Eligibility for modification
You or your child’s other parent can request a change in child support only in one of these situations:
- Three or more years have passed since the court established or last updated the child support order.
- The child support guidelines indicate a payment that differs from the current payment by at least $100 or 20%.
- Either parent has experienced a significant material change in circumstance.
Under Texas law, the material change in circumstance must be either a change in where the child lives, a change in medical insurance coverage for the child, or the birth or adoption of another dependent child for the noncustodial parent.
Applying for modification
To request a review of your existing child support order, you must download the Request for Review form from the Child Support Division website. Complete this document and mail it to the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division, PO Box 12017, Austin TX 78711-2017.
When the office receives your form, the agency will send you notice of either a child support review process negotiation, which takes place in an office setting, or a court hearing. Even if you and the other parent agree on a new child support arrangement, that agreement will not be legally binding until you undergo the official modification process and receive court approval.
The modification process takes time, especially when parents do not see eye-to-eye. The court will gather information and conduct a formal review to determine whether your case warrants a change in child support. When income changes, you can review the child support guidelines to see how monthly payments may shift while awaiting a court decision.