Making Divorce Modifications in TX
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Sometimes, the divorce decree you created and filed when you separated from your spouse doesn't pan out like you thought it would. For example, you may have established the child support payments that you would pay out to your ex and the children every single month. Shortly after the divorce, you may lose your job. In this case, you may need to seek a modification to lower your child support dues to you don't go into debt.
The Texas Family Code sets forth the rules that you have to follow in order to either increase or decrease a person’s child support obligation. Whether a new job has resulted in a higher income for their ex-spouse or they themselves are making less money because of a change in employment, a modification of the child support figure is justified.
Reasons to Modify Child Support
- You must wait at least three years from the time the last order (whether an original order or modified order) was set into place
- Whatever the “new” amount of child support should be must differ by at least 20% or $100 from the current monthly child support amount
If the rules above don't fit your situation, then you can still modify your child support order if you can prove a substantial change in circumstances to the judge. Examples include:
- Job loss or significant job raise
- Medical expenses
- Unexpected costs
- Pay cut
- Change in the child's daily needs (school, medical, etc.)
- Change in the custody of the child
If you need to move out of state, you may need to modify your child custody or visitation schedule to accommodate for the distance.
How to Modify Your Divorce Decree
It is tempting to just go to your ex-spouse and attempt to work out an informal arrangement whereby your support figure is changed with a handshake. Modifying your divorce decree is not a simple task. You cannot simply tell your ex-spouse that you need to make changes in your decree and then implement them accordingly. Instead, you are required to go through the court. Since the court has jurisdiction over your divorce decree and is responsible for enforcing it, they will need to approve or deny your requested modifications.
Providing Proof for a Modification
The courts won't grant a modification simply because you request one. Instead, you will be required to bring a suit and provide evidence of certain facts. You may be required to explain why you need a modification and show what makes this modification beneficial for all parties involved.
Most modifications are the result of changed circumstances. For example, he or she must prove that the circumstances of one or both parents have materially and substantially changed since the time the order was made.
Do you need a divorce modification? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC today to get assistance from a professional Houston attorney.