I Lost My Job - Can I Modify My Child Support Payments?
If you pay child support and recently lost your job, you are likely going to require a modification to your support payments. It is possible for your child support order to be changed, though it must be done formally through a new court order, rather than an informal agreement with your ex-spouse. Otherwise, if he or she has a change of heart regarding the agreement, you could be on the hook for whatever you did not pay. Even if you and your spouse are able to agree on a modification your child support payments, make sure you have the court officially approve it to avoid any potential complications in the future.
When Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?
In Texas, child support payments can be modified under two broad conditions:
- The order is more than three years old and the amount calculated using the statutory child support guidelines would change by more than 20%.
- The party who is requesting the modification is able to prove that there has been a material change in one or both parties that warrant a change in the order.
Defining a Substantial Change in Circumstances
The specific circumstances that would qualify as a substantial change are not outlined in the Texas Family Code. That said, usually, the following changes in circumstances are commonly considered adequate enough to support a change in the child support order:
- A decrease or increase in income
- The loss of a job
- The paying party is legally responsible for the support of additional children
- The child has special needs, such as medical, educational, or psychological
- A change in medical insurance or coverage
- The child’s living arrangements changed
If you lost your job, this would typically be reason enough for the court to grant a modification to your child support payments until you are able to secure a new job that allows you to resume making payments. It is crucial that you do not wait to make this request. If you simply stop paying your child support payments, the court will not retroactively relieve you of your obligation to make those payments.
Child Support Attorneys in Fort Worth
If you are seeking a modification of your child support payments due to the loss of your job, it is imperative that you obtain legal support as soon as possible to ensure you are able to secure the results you need. At The Clark Law Firm, our team of attorneys is dedicated to assisting individuals navigate numerous family law matters, including modifications in child support payments. Do not hesitate to get the help you need.
Get started on your case today and reach out to our law firm at (817) 435-4970 to request a complimentary initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys.