Yes – the amount of child support that you receive can change after your final decree of divorce.
However, it does not change automatically just because your former spouse gets a new job, the two of you agree on a difference amount, or for any other reason.
Child support obligations may only be modified after divorce by filing a petition to modify the child support obligation.
Who Can File a Petition to Modify Child Support
You could file a petition to modify if you think that your former spouse should be paying more than he or she currently is paying for child support.
Alternatively, your former spouse could file a petition to modify if he or she believes that they should pay less in child support.
Legal Standard To Modify Child Support
In Texas, there are two possible legal grounds for modifying child support after a final decree of divorce.
The first is if there has been a materially and substantial change in circumstances affecting the children or a parent since the date of the prior order.
This is a very fact specific inquiry but the change in circumstances requiring a change in the amount of child support must be substantial and it must be something that was not contemplated in the prior order.
The second ground for modifying a child support obligation has two components. First, at least 3 years must have elapsed since the prior order. Second, the amount of child support that would be ordered under the statutory guidelines now differs by 20% or $100 from the amount of child support in the prior order.
However, if the original order was an agreed order between the spouses as to the amount of child support, then the child support obligation may only be modified by proving a material and substantial change in circumstances of the children or the parent.
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