Child Support Attorneys in Denton
Getting Your Child the Resources They Need to Thrive
The Texas child support guidelines are used to determine the amount of child support to be paid by the noncustodial parent. These guidelines are somewhat flexible, however, and they are responsive to a change in circumstances that might justify modifying the amount of support owed. A skilled Denton child support attorney from The Law Office of Gregory C. Golinecan take advantage of the flexibility that is built into these guidelines to justify modification of the original child support order.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I petition to modify a support order?
If you are the child’s parent, you can file a modification petition with the court.
If you are not the child’s parent, you can still file a modification petition under certain circumstances, such as:
- If you are named as a party in the current child support order
- If you have been caring for and supervising the child for a certain amount of time
- If you are a legally approved relative of the child
What kinds of fees will I have to pay to file a modification petition?
You must pay a filing fee and, if the other parent must be served with notice of your petition, a service fee. These fees vary by county and change from time to time. If you are financially unable to pay these fees, you can petition the judge to waive these fees by filling out a form.
Where do I file a child support modification petition?
Generally, you are expected to file your petition with the court that issued the order you are seeking to modify. If the child has been living elsewhere in Texas for at least six months, you must still file with the original court, but you can ask the court to transfer the case to a court in your child’s new jurisdiction. It gets considerably more complicated if you or the child reside outside of Texas.
If the other parent and I agree on child support modification, can we execute the change without going to court?
No, you will have to go to court. A support order is a court order, and it can only be modified by a judge. This requirement is more than a mere procedural formality – even if you agree on the terms of support modification, the judge can still deny your modification petition based on the “best interests of the child” standard.
What are some tips on preparing for a child support modification order?
- If you are the noncustodial parent, keep up with your current payments until the modified order is actually issued. Child support modification orders are not retroactive, and if you fall into arrears, you will become liable for back support.
- Try to reach an agreement with the other parent. While there is no guarantee that the judge will accept your agreement, agreeing in advance could prevent the other parent from contesting your petition.
- Thoroughly document any change in circumstances that you believe justifies a modification of the original support order.
What kind of enforcement measures are available against a noncustodial parent who does not comply with a child support order?
The following measures are commonly taken to enforce a child support order:
- Garnishment of the noncustodial parent’s wages
- Placement of a lien on the noncustodial parent’s property
- Suspension of the noncustodial parent’s driver’s license and professional license(s)
- Incarceration of the noncustodial parent
If I lose my job, will child support be taken out of my unemployment benefits?
Yes. The Texas Workforce Commission will withhold support obligations from your unemployment benefits. The TWC is authorized to withhold up to 50 percent of your unemployment benefits for this purpose. Since your unemployment benefits will certainly be less than the income you received from your previous job, it is important that you act quickly to modify your support obligations.
The Time to Take Decisive Action Is Now
The longer you delay seeking a child support modification order in Texas when one is needed, the more the problem will fester. If you fall into arrears, your debt will multiply and you will face a host of negative consequences. If you are the custodial parent worried that support payments are not high enough, your child’s welfare might suffer. The time to act is now.
Schedule your consultation with one of our child support lawyers in Denton by calling us at (940) 400-0475. We are here to help you understand your options and pursue what is fair for you and right for your child.
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