Does your ex-wife insist you are able to pay more child support? Can you no longer afford to pay the amount the court originally ordered? Does your child now live with you most of the time? Whatever the reason, there are certain situations that allow you to request a modification of your child support amount so that it is fair and reasonable for both you and your child. You want to avoid being unable to pay because then you may end up serving jail time. Instead, seek legal help to modify your child support if you find yourself in any of the following circumstances.
Your income decreases
If your pay decreases, you lose your job or you have to work less due to a medical condition, you need to immediately share this change with the court. You will have to continue paying the current child support amount until the court approves the modification, so the sooner you file the better. In the meantime, if you cannot make full payments, pay whatever you can. Also, actively look for new employment if applicable. Both actions show the judge your commitment and effort to follow the order.
You are responsible for other children
You may now have another biological child you have to support financially, whether you are married to the mother or not. Because you are financially responsible for more than one child, you qualify for a child support modification. However, this does not apply to any stepchildren who are under your care.
Your child custody arrangement changes
Have your child custody arrangements changed in your favor, and your child now lives with you more? Reasons for the change may be unsafe living conditions, practicality or your child’s choice. In this case, you not only may be able to reduce the amount you pay, but if you become the custodial parent, you may also be able to receive child support from your ex-wife.
Other eligible circumstances
There are additional circumstances that may lower your child support order, such as the following:
- Military deployment or return from active duty
- Improvement in your child’s health
- Increase in your living expenses
It is best to speak to a Texas family law attorney for more information on whether your situation grants you eligibility to modify your child support payments. Having a lawyer help you and ensure you have all the necessary evidence may also speed up the process so you can obtain a lower amount sooner.