How to lower your child support obligation in Texas
In the event that you’ve lost your job, your pay has been decreased
or any scenario in between occurs you will want to know your rights when
it comes to lowering your
child support obligation in Texas. The next step after knowing your rights in acting
on them and taking steps towards getting a court to approve that lowered
amount. The attorneys with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are here to assist you in learning more about why a person may be able
to lower their child support obligation as well as the best means for doing so.
You lost your job. Now what?
In the event that you lose your job or become
disabled it is in your best interest to contact the court your order comes from
and to also contact the
Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General. However, simply doing these things will not lower your child support
obligation if you don’t take any further action. The next step you
must take to file a lawsuit requesting a
modification of your child support and to eventually gain an order signed off by the
judge allowing you to do so.
The most important part in this discussion is not so much what you will
owe in any future payments but what you will owe when it comes to
back child support payments. What I have seen happen all too frequently is that a mother or father
loses their job and simply is not able to pay child support for many months-
possibly even longer. It is true that a court can sometimes reduce your
arrearage amount if you provide them with a satisfactory explanation but
if you wait too long to do so there is nothing they can do to apply a
discount. The amount you owe will be the amount you have to pay and what’s
more, interest begins to be applied rather quickly making that arrearage
amount grow even more than it ordinarily would if no interest were applicable.
The moral of the story here is that you should contact the Office of the
Attorney General as soon as you begin to fall behind and to provide proof
of your decrease in income. At this time you can ask that your payments
be reduced according to the amount of the decrease in your income. If
you have no income at all then a court can apply an amount of support
based on what a person would earn working at a minimum wage occupation.
A temporary or permanent reduction in your child support obligation may
be available to you.
Modification of Child Support Obligation
If you hire an attorney in an attempt to reduce your child support obligation
you must be able to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances
that has affected your ability to pay child support. You may also show,
in the alternative, that it has been more than three years since the child
support order has been rendered by the court and that the amount you are
currently obligated to pay differs from the amount you should be paying
based on your current income by either twenty percent or $100.
Do not attempt to work out an informal arrangement with your child’s
One issue that I have seen come back to haunt clients of the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC is that some believe that they can simply come to a “handshake”
agreement with their child’s other parent to lower the support obligation
without having to go through the trouble of going to court. What I have
seen happen is that this arrangement may work out for a short period of
time while both parents are happy with one another and the random costs
of life are minimal. However, once something comes up- an unexpected bill,
increase in the cost in daycare, etc.- that goodwill the other parent
feels towards the other begins to dissipate. A situation then occurs where
the parent who pays child support must either return to paying the higher
amount or the parent to whom the support is paid will go to court and
ask the judge to hold the parent who owes child support in
contempt of the court order.
Change in costs to see your child can result in changes in child support
If you find yourself in a situation where you are the parent with whom
the child lives primarily and the other parent never takes advantage of
their periods of
possession that leaves you with more responsibility for the child in terms of paying
for the necessities of life while he or she is in your care. If this situation
sounds familiar you may be able to go back and get an increase in the
child support figure to be paid by your child’s other parent. This
would be done in order to compensate for the increased costs you incur
due to the other parent’s failure to take possession of the child
during his or her scheduled periods of possession.
On the other hand, if you are a parent who pays child support to your child’s
other parent and that parent moves far away from you then you may have
the ability to get a decrease in the child support figure you are obligated
to pay. The reason for this is because you can present the argument that
due to the moving parent’s actions, your costs associated with taking
advantage of your periods of possession have increased due to travel costs.
Additional Questions on lowering child support? Contact the Law Office
of Bryan Fagan today
Child Support is an important aspect of
family law and one that the attorneys with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have a great deal of experience practicing in. If you find yourself in
a situation where you believe your child support obligation is more than
what you should be paying based off your present circumstances please
do not hesitate to
contact our office. A
consultation can be set up between yourself and one of our licensed family law attorneys
where your questions can be answered.