While establishing a child support order, the family court in Texas will take several factors into accounts, such as the income of the obligor (the parent who is required to pay child support), the number of children that need to be supported, and the specific needs of the children.
However, after the child support order has been made, the paying parent may sometimes feel the need to lower the child support payments. With the help of an experienced father’s rights attorney in Austin, you may be able to negotiate lower child support payments and get the court order modified.
Requirements for Child Support Order Modification
A previous child support order in Texas can be revisited in the following circumstances:
- Three years have elapsed since the previous child support order was finalized by a judge
- The circumstances of one or both parents or the child have substantially changed following the previous order
- Both divorced parents are agreeable to lowering the child support amount (as long as it is above the minimum payment as per Texas child support guidelines)
In any case, the court will satisfy itself that the child’s best interests are upheld before it modifies an existing child support order. If you are seeking to lower the child support payments, you should have an experienced father’s rights attorney in Austin by your side to make a strong case.
Steps You Can Take to Lower Child Support Payments
Act Quickly and Decisively
If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to make child support payments, or the payments are getting delayed, the arrears will start accruing. Even a bankruptcy will not be able to retroactively discharge or reduce these arrears.
Therefore, it makes sense to speak to a competent father’s rights attorney in Austin who will help you initiate the child support modification process quickly and effectively. Merely because you informed the custodial parent of your inability to pay child support will not end your liability. You need to file a petition to lower child support payments immediately with the court.
Negotiate with the Custodial Parent
Sometimes it may be possible to convince the custodial parent to agree to a modified child support agreement that lowers your payments. Your attorney will help you negotiate with the co-parent so that a mutually acceptable solution can be reached rather than a court-ordered modification.
While any agreement to modify child support voluntarily between the parents must still be authorized by the court, a negotiated solution will minimize the emotional stress for both parents. The court may approve the modification as long as the minimum child support payment guidelines are upheld and the best interests of the child are protected.
Document the Changes and Keep Paying
If you have lost your job, your pay is reduced, your business income has declined, or any other major change of circumstances has occurred, which necessitates lower child support, you should document the changes.
Secondly, your child support modification lawyer will advise you to continue to make your due child support payments until the order has been modified. If you stop making payments, it could antagonize the judge.
Work With a Reliable and Reputable Family Law Attorney in Austin
A reputable family law firm will know all about the critical elements of divorce and family law, including child support modification. Work with the meritorious legal team led by Eric M. Willie, P.C. for effective legal representation. To make an appointment, call us at 512-478-0834 or contact us online.