In Texas, both parents are expected to financially support their children whether they’re married or not. Just because a parent breaks up with their partner or gets divorced, it doesn’t mean they’re off the hook for child support.
If you have been ordered to pay child support, it’s important to understand how child support works. While the amount of child support you pay is based on the number of children you have and your income, you cannot stop paying child support if you lose your job, become disabled, or your ex won’t let you see your children.
The only way you can change the amount that you pay is by going back to court and having the court approve a downward modification. Unfortunately, child support is not retroactive. So, even if your financial circumstances have changed, your support obligation remains the same unless a court says otherwise.
Changing a Child Support Obligation
Let’s face it, life changes. The way your life looks today is probably quite different than it will look five years from now. The courts are well-aware that parents’ lives change, and that sooner or later, a parent will end up back in court asking for a child support or child custody modification.
If you are the noncustodial parent and you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances; for example, you lost your job or started receiving workers’ compensation benefits, or your son or daughter is now living with you the majority of the time, you have every right to petition the court for a modification to your child support payments. Also, when it’s been more than three years since an existing order was issued, the court’s threshold is lower.
Bear in mind that if you stop making your child support payments, your balance will only grow, and unpaid child support is subject to an interest rate of 6%. If you can’t pay the regular amount, it’s better to pay something each month than nothing at all.
To learn more about the support modification process in Denton, Texas, contact The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline, PLLC to schedule a consultation.