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Modifying child support orders in Texas

Child support orders are commonly set out at the time of a divorce or the dissolution of a relationship. Custody decisions, spousal maintenance issues and other related questions are usually settled during the finalization of the divorce and encoded into a court order that sets forth the relevant amounts and schedule. However, changing circumstances may require new arrangements. It is sometimes necessary to go before the court to demonstrate that the situation has altered and previous commitments are no longer appropriate.

The original order remains in force until it is superseded. It is essential to continue to comply with the terms of the original order and to continue making the required child support payments until the new order has been signed by the appropriate judge.

The court must be approached with a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship. Any affected parties must be notified through an official process server, unless they choose to file an Answer with the court. They may also submit a notarized Waiver of Service. In many circumstances, the Texas Attorney General's Office must be informed as well. The case is then considered by the judge. After the adjudication process is completed, the court will issue a signed Order in Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship.

Texas child support orders must be changed in the jurisdiction in which they were filed. If they were not filed in Texas, then it will be necessary to work through the state in which the original order was handed down in order to have the child support payment modified. If the child has been living in a new jurisdiction, then the original court may be petitioned to move the case over after six months of residence. An attorney may be a useful guide in these and other family law matters.

Source: TexasLawHelp.org, "How do I change custody and child support orders? ", January 04, 2015

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Bruce Turner

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