Making an increase or a decrease in child support payments is known as child support payment modification. These child support payment modifications do not happen automatically. Instead, one of the two parents of the child will have to request that the change be made by way of a formal motion in a Texas court. The court that made the original decision regarding the award of child support also possesses the authority to make modifications to the child support order in situations where conditions have been changed. Either of the two parents is legally allowed to request that a change be made by the court to the order of child support up until the point where the child has turned 18 years of age.
Child support orders do not change on a whim, or simply because one party has decided that it is time for a modification. If modification is made to increase or decrease the amount of child support, then it legally has to be based on some kind of evidence that proves that the change is warranted. What this typically requires is that the person asking for the change show that some circumstances have changed in the situation.
It is necessary to show that the facts that were in existence during the last order of child support are no longer accurate. For example, if the income of one of the parents has changed by at least 25% or more, then this is perceived to be a large enough difference that a change in the child support order is warranted. A modification can be requested when the income change is less dramatic, but this does not typically guarantee that the child support order will be modified to reflect this.
There are a number of different situations and scenarios that can alter circumstances enough to warrant a court-ordered modification. If the non-custodial parent who is paying child support has experienced a large increase in their income, then the court can mandate that the child support payments be increased as well. If the needs of the child grow or change in some way over time, such as in a situation where the child has become disabled, then the support amount can be ordered to be increased as well. Sometimes extenuating circumstances are created merely based on the passage of time, such as when a child ages, and becomes more expensive to raise in terms of food and clothing costs. These increases in expenses can justify the modification of a support order.
Support can also be reduced, but only if it can be shown that this would be fair to all involved parties. For example, should the custodial parent get a raise, inherit money or otherwise find themselves better capable of financially caring for the child, then child support payments can be successfully reduced. If the parent who is paying child support takes a pay cut or loses a job, then during this period of financial hardship the court may decide to reduce the amount of child support payments.