Some common reasons for this to happen:
- Change in financial circumstances – less money. The Obligor (Payor) may lose his/her job, be laid off, of have some type of pay reduction, so that s/he may seek a change in child support.
- Change in financial circumstances -more money. The Obligor may make more money that s/he was making at the time the order was entered. The Obligee (receiver of the money) may decide to go back to court to seek a higher amount of child support if they have reason to believe that the Obligor is now making more money that before. (The Payor who wishes to pay a higher amount voluntarily due to more favorable financial circumstances is certainly allowed to do so without having to have a court order.)
- Change in the Child’s Circumstances – The child may have additional needs that were not addressed in the original calculation of child support funds. These needs are usually medical needs or educational ones. For instance, a “new” diagnosis of a disability which requires specialized treatment and training may be a reason for a parent to seek a higher amount of child support from the paying parent.
- A Change in Visitation or Access – A significant change in the amount of time that the child spends with a parent may cause one of the parties to seek a change in the amount of child support to be paid. For instance, if Obligor now has the child living with him/her all or most of the time then it would be reasonable to ask for a decrease in payment, or even seek child support from the prior Obligee.
- Read your existing court order to see what it says now;
- Read your existing court order to see if you are obligated to take any steps prior to filing a suit (mediation, for instance);
- Make sure that the change you want is reasonable under the Texas law -contact a child support attorney for assistance with this. A family law attorney may also be able to help work out an agreement with the other party, rather than having a fight in court.