Reducing Your Child Support Obligation in Texas

If you’ve experienced a job loss, income reduction, or any related circumstances, it’s essential to understand your rights regarding reducing your child support obligation in Texas. Furthermore, once you’re aware of your rights, the next step is taking action and pursuing the necessary legal steps to secure a court-approved reduction. In this regard, the attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are here to provide guidance on why and how you may lower your child support obligation.

Losing Your Job: What’s Next?

In the event of job loss or disability, you should immediately contact the court that issued your child support order and reach out to the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General. However, simply making contact is not sufficient to lower your obligation. You must take the next step, which involves filing a lawsuit to request a modification of your child support order. This lawsuit must result in a court order signed by a judge for any changes to take effect.

While it’s crucial to consider future child support payments, it’s equally vital to address any outstanding  arrears. Often, parents facing job loss are unable to make payments for several months, leading to significant arrears. While some courts may consider reducing arrearage amounts if you provide a satisfactory explanation, delaying this process can result in irreversible arrears, especially as interest accrues.

To mitigate this, promptly contact the Office of the Attorney General, providing evidence of your income decrease and requesting a reduction in your ongoing child support payments. If you have no income, the court may calculate support based on minimum wage earnings. Temporary or permanent reductions are possible based on your circumstances.

Modifying Child Support Obligation

To successfully lower your child support obligation through legal means, you must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances that affects your ability to pay. Alternatively, another option is to show that it has been over three years since the initial child support order. In such cases, the current payment amount should differ by at least twenty percent or $100 based on your current income.

Avoid Informal Agreements

Attempting to make informal arrangements with your kid’s other parent to lower child support without court involvement can lead to complications down the road. While such agreements may work temporarily, unforeseen expenses or changes can strain the goodwill between parents. This may result in one parent returning to paying the higher support amount or facing contempt of court for failing to adhere to the court order.

Adjusting Child Support Based on Parenting Time

If you are the primary custodial parent, and the other parent rarely exercises their visitation rights, you may bear more financial responsibility for your child’s needs during their stays with you. In such cases, you may seek an increase in child support to account for these additional costs.

Conversely, if you are the paying parent, and the other parent relocates far away, increasing your travel costs during visitation periods, you may be eligible for a reduction in your obligation due to these added expenses.

If you have questions or concerns about lowering your obligation, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our experienced family law attorneys are well-versed in child support matters and can provide the guidance and answers you need.

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