Fighting for Your Child's Future: Why We're the Only Fort Worth Child Support Attorney You Need on Your Side.
Youngblood Law, PLLC advocates for parents and children while negotiating child support agreements.
Fort Worth Child Support Modifications
Child support payments are a lifeline for many people. They ensure that all children’s needs can be provided for, including shelter, food, toys, and medical care.
However, it is natural for circumstances to change over time and for an agreement to become either insufficient to meet the needs of the child or unmanageable for the paying parent. When this happens, it is important that you seek a child support modification with the help of an attorney.
Securing a child support modification can be difficult, as you will need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. It is important to have legal representation from an attorney who will listen to your needs and adapt to them.
At Youngblood Law PLLC, we are deeply attuned to the needs of families and are committed to helping clients in Fort Worth, Denton County, Tarrant County, and surrounding areas navigate family law issues. We can help you modify an existing child support order and will ensure that your situation is considered.
Arrange a consultation with an experienced family law attorney today at 817-369-3970.
When Can I Seek a Child Support Modification in Texas?
Although a child support order is a legally binding document, the courts also understand that circumstances change, and therefore, they will allow either parent to apply for a modification if:
- It has been at least three years since the existing order, and the value of monthly child support differs by either 20% or $100, based on up-to-date guidelines.
- A material and substantial change in circumstances for one party named in the order. However, you will need to prove that any change resulting in child support modification is not a temporary change, was not anticipated at the time of the previous agreement, and that the change is substantial.
What is a Material and Substantial Change in Circumstances?
If you are requesting modifications within three years, or are asking for a deviation from standard child support guidelines, then your attorney will help you evidence a substantial change in circumstances. This phrase is up to interpretation by the Judge, but some common examples include.
- A party named in the order becomes ill.
- Changing needs of the child, such as illness.
- Job loss or substantial change of income.
- One parent remarries or has another child.
- Changes to the child custody arrangement.
A Change In Primary Custody
A change in primary custody arrangements will almost certainly result in the need to modify child support. Typically the non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent with primary custody. If this arrangement has changed, the payments will need to reflect this. If this change in custody has been in place for at least 6 months, the court must modify the support order once the individual has filed.
Agreed Modification Vs. Contested Modification in Fort Worth, TX
When both parents agree to a modification, then the process is relatively straightforward. However, it is common for parents to disagree, and when that happens, you will need to present your case to a Judge. An attorney will support you and ensure that your needs and those of your children are considered.
If both parents agree to a child support modification, they can submit documents jointly with the court. The Judge will be more likely to approve a modification if both parents agree to it.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, our family law attorneys are highly skilled in collaborative law. If appropriate in your case, we will help you and your ex-spouse arrive at an agreement that considers everyone’s needs and is in line with the Texas Family Code.
Contested Modification or Default Modification
If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, or you are unable to approach them with a potential modification, then you will need to apply for a modification on your own. If you do, your ex-spouse will be served modification papers and will have 20 days to respond. If they fail to respond and the Judge agrees with your modification, then they will approve it by default.
An attorney can help you file for a modification and will support you in gathering the appropriate evidence required and building your case to justify a change to the courts, increasing the likelihood that the Judge will approve your request.
If your ex-spouse does respond, then the Judge will review both of your requests and will set a hearing date.
A contested modification takes some time, and the Judge will want to see that you have tried to come to an agreement with your spouse if possible.
What Happens if I Miss Child Support Payments?
Child support payments never disappear, and you must continue to meet your obligation until you secure a modification. If you don’t, then you will go into arrears, and your missed payments could be subject to interest.
You will need to pay back what you owe eventually, and if you continually miss payments, then you could be held in contempt. If this happens, then you could be facing fines, liens on your wages, revocation of professional licenses, or even a jail sentence.
If you can no longer meet your child support obligations, you must speak to an attorney who can help you avoid these consequences.
Fort Worth Child Support Modifications FAQ
The parent-child relationship means that parents are expected to emotionally and financially care for their children. Usually, one parent will have primary custody, and the other, known as the noncustodial parent, will be granted visitation rights. In most cases, the noncustodial parent is required to pay child support to the other.
Child support payments must be made until a child turns 18, or graduates high school, whichever comes later. However, if your child is mentally or physically incapacitated then child support must be paid until the court terminates them.
If you have lost your job, you must apply for a modification. Child support must be paid in line with your order. If you do not make payments, you will go into arrears, and you could face serious penalties.
When the court considers your modification, they will take your past employment into account as well as your earning capacity. Child support may be taken from your unemployment benefits until you get a new job.
The biggest contributing factors to child support payments are the paying parent’s gross monthly income and the number of children. However, the courts may deviate from standard child support guidelines if a child has additional medical or educational needs.
In Texas, parents are required to ensure that their children’s medical needs are met, which means that they must provide medical insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost. If you were ordered to carry medical insurance for your children and are no longer able to then you should seek a modification.
Yes. It is possible for your child support order to increase if you apply for a modification, especially if you earn more than you did when the current order was issued.
There are two options available to parents to modify child support. An individual can request a child support modification review from the Texas Attorney General. Alternatively, they can pursue their modification privately through the family courts.
You must file the modification with the same court where the child support order was originally issued. If the Judge approves your modification then you can sign the order with your county clerk to finalize your modification.
Contact The Fort Worth Child Support Modification Lawyers at Youngblood Law PLLC
At Youngblood Law, PPLC, our child support lawyers are highly experienced in child support matters in Texas. Our team understands how important child support payments are to the well-being of children, and we also understand the importance of getting a child support calculation right.
The implications of a child support order that does not accurately reflect your circumstances can be severe. Non-custodial parents may not be able to make their payments due to losing their job and can face penalties from the court. Meanwhile, custodial parents may not be able to meet the new requirements of their child if they have additional medical needs without increased child support.
The modification process can be challenging, and parents may face scrutiny by the courts into their justification for modification. Reduce the stress on your shoulders and increase your likelihood of a successful case with the help of one of our Fort Worth, child support modification attorneys.
Arrange a free consultation today by calling our law office at 817-369-3970.
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