Southlake Child Support Modifications Lawyer

In a Texas divorce involving minor children,  the person who has to pay the child support is called the obligor, and the person who receives it is the obligee. The obligee usually has primary custody of the child, incurs most of the expenses, and is the one with whom the child lives.

Texas assigns child support based on the guidelines outlined in Texas law, which lead the courts when deciding how much support to award. The obligor will usually pay support until the later of the child turning 18 or graduating from high school. During this time, circumstances might change, and it might be necessary for one parent to modify the support order, which requires following a specific legal process.

If you need to change an existing child support order in Southlake, your first call should be to Mims Ballew Hollingsworth. Our team handles all types of child support cases in family court.

How the Guidelines Work

The court will apply one of two standards, depending on whether the obligor’s net monthly income is more or less than $9,200.00. For the lower net monthly income, the court applies a standard of:

  • One child – 20 percent
  • Two children – 25 percent
  • Three children – 30 percent
  • Four children – 35 percent
  • Five children – 40 percent
  • Six children – not less than 40 percent

For those whose net monthly income is over $9,200, the court will apply these guidelines only to the first $9,200 of income. If the obligee can demonstrate special needs, the court may award more. However, the extra amount awarded cannot exceed the proven additional need.

Once the amount the obligor will pay is determined, the court will issue a child support order.

Seeking to Change the Order

To seek a child support order modification, the obligor must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Such a change can include job loss, transfer to an off-short job location, or if the custody agreement has changed. The obligor may also consult the Officer of Attorney General Child Support Division (OAG) to request a change if the order has been in place for at least three years and the current support amount varies from the current Guidelines by 20 percent or $100.

Submitting a Request for Review

There are several steps in the process for modification. You may wish to get an attorney to help you through this process since it is somewhat complex and can, in the end, be very financially significant for you.

Your attorney can request a review and file a Child Support Modification Request.

You can request a modification if your order is at least three years old and differs by 20 percent of $100 from the current Guidelines. You may also request a change if you have experienced a “material and substantial” change in your circumstances.

A material and substantial change in circumstances might consist of:

  • Increase or decrease in noncustodial parent’s income
  • The noncustodial parent is now legally responsible for more children
  • Change in the child or children’s medical insurance coverage
  • Child or children are currently living with a different parent

Any one of these conditions entitles you to apply for a modification.

How It Happens

There are only two ways a modification happens. You can go to an in-office negotiation called a Child Support Review Process (CSRP), or you can go to court.

Child Support Review

This process is an administrative process to modify child support, medical or dental support, or determine paternity. It usually takes place at a local Child Support Division Office. Usually, both spouses and the Child Support Officer are in the room for the meeting, which generally lasts for around an hour. If the parties agree on a proposed change, the Officer will send an order to a judge for signature. If not, the office will schedule a court hearing.

If there has been family violence or one spouse is a minor, the case must go to court.

Or you can go to court. You and your spouse deciding the amount can be different does not change the court-order amount for which the obligor is legally responsible.

Court Hearing

Your case will go to court if:

  • One spouse has been a victim of abuse and has safety concerns
  • The parties did not reach an agreement in the CSRP meeting
  • One of the spouses is a minor
  • The Office of the Attorney General determines that court review is appropriate for your case

At court, you will again meet with an officer to try to reach an agreement. If you do, the judge will receive the order and sign it. If not, an assistant attorney general presents the case to the judge, and the judge will decide. Cases that go to court can take a long time and sometimes more than one court appearance.

Contact a Southlake Child Support Attorney Today

If you are involved in a contentious child support dispute, you should contact an experienced attorney at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth today. Contact us or call 817-900-8330 for skilled assistance with your child support needs.

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      I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

      Loyd Camp
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      Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

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      Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

      William Hawthorne
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      Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

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      I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

      Dante Martinez
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      Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

      Autumn Colson
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      Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

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      Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

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      Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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