Often clients will come in and ask about the conditions under which Bexar County child support may be terminated. For example, perhaps the child no longer lives with the custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent no longer wishes to make payments to the custodial parent. Well, you can certainly change to whom you make payments, but you cannot change the fact that you must make payments regardless of where the child resides – unless of course it is with you.
The Texas Family Code is very clear on the fact that child support must continue – 1) until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later; 2) until the child is emancipated (usually when they marry or when the court rules they are no longer a minor); 3) until the child dies; or 4) if the child becomes disabled indefinitely. If the county Department of Protective and Regulatory services becomes the managing conservator of the child, then the court can order both parents to make child support payments.
The Texas Family Code also outlines very specific grounds for the modification of child support. One of the grounds is a “material and substantial change” in the circumstances of the child. For example, if the child no longer lives with the mother during the week, and the mother is no longer furnishing the same degree of services to the child as at the time of the divorce, while the level of the father’s services have increased, then such a situation would warrant a modification of child support. The court compares the financial circumstances of the children and the parents at the time of the previously entered order with the current circumstances to determine whether in fact there has been a material and substantial change.
Another common ground for the modification of child support is if it has been 3 years since the order was rendered or modified. In addition, the monthly amount of the child support due under the current guidelines was different by at least 20% or $100 from the current amount being paid. It is important to note that child support payments cannot be modified once they have accrued. In other words, the court can only modify a child support order only as to subsequent child support obligations. What the court can do is retroactively modify the monthly child support by backdating any accrued obligations to the filing of the motion to modify. This is done to remove any motive on the part of the paying parent to engage in delay tactics.
There are certain areas the courts may not consider as grounds for modification of child support. For example, an increase in needs or standard of living or lifestyle of the obligee (the party receiving child support payments) is not a ground for modification. A history of voluntarily provided support by the obligor (the party making payments) and the net resources of new spouses are other factors the court cannot take into account. A remarriage of the obligor is not a factor as to whether to increase or decrease child support.
Ultimately, a San Antonio Texas modification of child support hinges on the net resources and abilities of the parties, as well as the needs of the child. A San Antonio family lawyer can assist you with a Bexar County child support modification .