When is the child support review process not applicable?
Section 156.401 of Texas Family Code allows that child support can be “reviewed” for a modification if it has been three years since the order was last modified and the monthly amount of the child support under that previous order would differ by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded under child support guidelines.
You typically see this process occur through the Attorney Generals office in a child support review, or negotiation conference.
However, it is important to know and understand that there are times when the 3-year review process is not applicable to your case. If you and the opposing side agreed to an amount of child support which differs from the guideline amount, then the court may only modify the child support if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the date of the last order. This means that the 3-year modification rule is not available to parties who originally agreed to a child support obligation that is different from the amount that would have been awarded under the child support guidelines at the time the order was rendered. If that applies to your case then the parties must agree to a modified amount, or the movant seeking to modify has the burden to prove a material and substantial change has occurred since the date of the last order, not just that 3 years have passed.
Don’t be caught off guard if you receive a notice to attend a 3 year review conference, and instead make sure you understand the law and arguments you may have of when the process is not applicable to a case. If you do receive notice for a 3 year review, it is important to contact an attorney to review your particular situation with you to determine if a change in child support is truly warranted, and if the appropriate grounds have been alleged.
With over two decades of combined experience handling an extensive range of family law matters all over South and Central Texas, the team at Clepper Harrison & Duffy PLLC are ready to work with you. We never shy away from even the most complex family law case. Our attorneys are litigators and collaborators, ready to utilize their experience and resources to give you efficient and effective representation at every stage of your case. Each attorney has been recognized through multiple avenues, and proudly share their awards on the firm website. Contact us today to schedule your initial meeting. We look forward to hearing from you soon!