At the time that you divorced from your spouse, decisions regarding the welfare of any children from the marriage were made as a part of the settlement. This included approving the parenting plan, determining who has primary custody, visitation, and other issues. One of the more important things that was also decided was how much child support one spouse or the other was required to pay. It was based on a number of factors, including the income of each spouse at the time of the divorce.
If those factors or income levels have changed, you do have the right to ask the court to modify your child support amount or to go through the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Review Process to see if a child support modification is possible.
The Modification Review Process
The Office of the Attorney General is the official child support enforcement agency in Texas and has sweeping powers regarding all types of child support issues. The only way child support can be modified is through a court hearing or by negotiating with your ex-spouse as part of the Review Process.
You can either apply online to the Office of the Attorney General, or contact the regional child support office for the county where you live. When you make an application, it establishes the Attorney General’s authority over your case. As a part of the process, you’ll be asked to provide several pieces of information such as previous child support orders, and other related personal information.
There are certain terms that must be met before a child support modification, in Arlington or in other Texas communities, will be considered or granted. It must be at least three years since your last order was put in place and the modification must represent at least a 20 percent or $100 monthly difference from what is currently on the books. An exception to this is when one or the other spouse’s circumstances have changed significantly, such as receiving a large inheritance, winning the lottery, or getting a major promotion and pay raise on the job.
Even if you and your spouse agree that the modification is warranted, it must still be approved by the courts. However, courts will almost always approve the modification if both spouses agree to the terms.
The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.