In this article, you can discover:
- The factors and considerations involved in modifying child custody and child support orders in Texas.
- The importance of hiring an experienced attorney when navigating the complex process of seeking a modification.
- The potential ramifications of requesting a modification, including an increase in child support payments, if the proper steps are not taken.
How Long Do I Need To Wait Before Requesting A Child Support Modification In Texas?
Generally, Texas law recommends waiting three years before requesting a review of a child support order. However, circumstances can prompt the court to review it sooner. For example, if your income significantly drops, you can request a modification right away. Nonetheless, the process may still take six months to a year because of the queue of cases waiting to be heard.
To successfully request a modification, the change you are seeking must equate to a difference of at least a hundred dollars. If the judge determines that your requested change does not meet this threshold, they likely will not grant the modification.
It is also crucial to consult an attorney and evaluate your financial situation before filing for a modification. Instances have occurred where individuals believed their income changes would lead to lower child support payments, but they ended up owing more instead.
Can I Request A Custody Modification Anytime In Texas?
Yes, you can request a custody modification anytime you believe there has been a material and substantial change. This could include a parent moving to another state or the child consistently being injured under the care of the other parent. However, if you are filing within a year of the most recent order, there must be evidence of immediate harm to the child’s emotional well-being or physical health.
What Is The Process For Petitioning For A Modification To Custody Or Child Support In Texas?
The first step is to ensure your finances are in order. This includes understanding your income, expenses, debts, liabilities, assets, tax returns, and most recent pay stubs. Once you have these in place, we recommend seeking legal advice before proceeding.
The process begins with filing a petition to modify with the court, typically accompanied by affidavits supporting your request for a modification. After filing, the other party is served, and you’ll work towards securing a court date to present your evidence. In many cases, you may be required to attend mediation before proceeding to a hearing or trial where the judge makes the final decision.
How Long Will It Take For The Child Support Amount To Change If A Modification Is Granted?
The time frame depends on the efficiency of your attorney and how your petition is filed. When an efficient attorney handles the process, you may see changes within two to four months. Without an attorney, the changes may take a year or more.
Could My Child Support Amount Increase If I Request A Modification To Decrease It?
Yes, it is possible that your child support could increase due to various factors, even if you request a decrease. Child support is primarily for the support of the child, and the other parent may demonstrate that the child’s needs and expenses have increased. Moreover, if your income has unexpectedly increased, such as through a severance package or bonus, the judge may determine that your child support payments should go up.
What Can I Do If The Other Parent Requests A Modification To A Child Support Order?
You have the option to appeal any court decision, although the process is often lengthy and expensive. The appeal may be worth considering if the increase in child support is substantial.
Some appeals can be done by requesting a De Novo review if the case was heard by an associate judge, but this requires you to preserve your rights before the hearing. Failing to do so forfeits your right to an appeal before the district judge, but you may still seek an appeal before appellate judges. Remember that this process can take between one and two years and can be costly.
For more information on the Modification Of Family Court Orders In TX, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (832) 345-1988 today.