The Texas Family Code outlines specific grounds for the modification of child support. Bexar County and greater San Antonio judges have the authority to modify a prior child support order, including amounts set aside for health care coverage under Section 156.401 of the Texas Family Code.
The grounds under which child support may be modified include whether the circumstances of the child have “materially and substantially changed”. To determine material and substantial change, trial judges compare the circumstances of the parents and the children at the time of the initial order with current circumstances. Current and historical evidence of a person’s financial situation is the key to such an analysis. Without the ability to compare 2 distinct sets of financial data, the court will not modify the order. Bexar County courts are given broad discretion in setting child support and revising the payments.
For example, in one case, the children no longer lived with the mother during the week and she was no longer providing the same level of services to the children as she did at the time of the divorce. However, the father was providing a greater level of services to the children now than he did when the divorce occurred. Such a change in circumstances represented a material and substantial change that obviated a modification of child support.
The other grounds for modifying a San Antonio child support order is if the order to be modified is greater then three (3) years old and the monthly amount under the revised order differs by 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded under the child support guidelines.
When dealing with out of state child support orders and where both parties have moved to Texas with the child, the ideal situation is for both parties to consent to venue in Bexar County. If the parties agree on allocation of child support and health insurance, a San Antonio family law attorney can submit a consent order without either party having to appear.
The Office of the Attorney General of Texas puts out tax charts for computation of net monthly income so that courts can calculate the amounts in a child support order. One starts with the obligor’s annual gross income, which can be calculated from income tax returns from the last two years. The number is divided by 12 to get the average monthly gross income. Subtracting the amount paid for the child’s health insurance if applicable, yields a monthly gross wages. The tax charts allow you to calculate net monthly income or net resources after deducting federal income taxes and insurance taxes like Medicare.
The net monthly income is then multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children to determine the monthly child support. For example, for support for only 1 child with no other dependents, the percentage is 20% of the net monthly income to determine the amount of the monthly child support.
For modifications of Texas child support, contact a Bexar County family lawyer or San Antonio child support attorney today.