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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Changing child support court orders

Child support orders in Texas are decreed by the court and have the full force of the law behind them. Even if the divorcing parents have reached complete agreement as to possession, access and conservatorship, their arrangement must be put into the proper documentary format and provided to the court for approval. After approval, their arrangements become official court orders and must be complied with until they are changed. Changing them is not necessarily a complex process, but it must be carried out correctly.

If there is consensus between all custodial individuals, then the process may be straightforward. The involved individuals must simply write the new plan up in the form of an Order in Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship and give it to the relevant family court judge to review and sign. Once the order is signed, the new arrangement becomes active.

If there is a difference of opinion, then it will be necessary for one parent or concerned individual to file a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship. The petitioner must ascertain that all other relevant persons are given legal notice of the petition. They must either fill out and notarize a Waiver of Citation, file an Answer with the court or be served by an official process server. The contested case will then go before the judge, who will hear testimony and attempt to determine what decisions might serve the best interests of the child or children.

Any proposal affecting the calculation of child support may benefit from the advice and review of an attorney. They may be more familiar with the court process and more easily able to provide the sort of documentation and proof that the judge will want to see in order to make the best decision possible.

Source: TexasLawHelp.org, "How do I change custody and child support orders? ", December 09, 2014

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