The changes brought about by your divorce may not stop simply because the process is final. You may find that your life continues to change long after the finalization of your divorce order, including your financial circumstances. In some cases, these changes may leave you unable to adhere to the terms of a child support order. If you find yourself in this position, it may be helpful to seek a modification of the order.
Modifications are sometimes available after a divorce is final. Certain circumstances merit changes to court orders, and you could secure new terms that are more suitable for your current situation. This is often necessary after a divorced individual experiences changes in his or her job. If you believe you have grounds to seek a modification, it may be helpful to learn about the specific legal options that could be available to you.
When can you change a support order?
Simply wanting to change a child support order is generally not a valid reason for a court to grant a modification. However, a job change or decrease in pay may make it necessary if you are currently unable to pay the set amount each month. Common reasons courts often grant changes to child support orders include:
- Increases in cost-of-living expenses
- Changes in the needs of your children
- Significant change in income or expenses
- Newly diagnosed disabling medical condition
It is possible you and the other parent may come to a verbal agreement regarding a possible change in your child support amount. While it is always beneficial for the two parents to remain cooperative, it is still in your interests to seek a formal modification through the court if you believe you will be unable to meet the terms of your child support order long-term.
Your rights as a parent
Your inability to pay child support due to a job change or other alteration in your financial circumstances does not affect your parental rights. The other parent cannot deny your access to your child, including visitation, if you seek a modification to the current support order. If you find that you may benefit from a formal change to your order, it may help to start with an understanding of your legal options and child support laws in Texas.