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Can child support be modified post-divorce?

Life does not stay the same following a divorce, as well all know. Life changes and circumstances change as life moves on following dissolution. As a result, parents may wonder if a child support modification is available to them following divorce. Child support orders can generally be modified through the court or by agreement of the parents. In general, there are two circumstances when child support orders can be modified.

One circumstance a child support may be modified is if it has been 3 years or greater since the child support order was established or last modified, and the change from the monthly child support order would be $100 or 20 percent according to child support guidelines. Alternately, a substantial change in circumstances following the child support order may also merit a post-divorce modification of child support.

A significant and material change in circumstances potentially warranting a child support modification can include a change in the paying parent's income, if the noncustodial parent is legally responsible for the care of additional children, if the medical insurance coverage for the child has changed or if the living arrangements for the child have changed. It is important, however, to never simply ignore a child support order and to also keep in mind that, although parents are encouraged to reach agreements whenever possible, a child support modification requires a new child support order.

The family law process is designed to help parents with their needs and concerns associated with child support orders. As a result, it is helpful for parents to be familiar with those resources and how they can help them if they need a child support modification.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas "Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support Modifications," Accessed April 2, 2017

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