When an unmarried father establishes his parental rights in Texas and elsewhere, this involves much more than just custodial rights. While it is important to focus on the physical time a parent has with a child, it is also important to consider the financial side of things. With child custody comes child support. And while this is important to fulfill this financial obligation, it may prove to be difficult to continue to meet this obligation.
Because jobs and come and go, the ability to pay child support can come and go for some fathers. Thus, it may be necessary to seek modification of a child support order. In the state of Texas, one is eligible to seek modification if it has been at least three years since the order was established or last modified or the monthly amount of child support differs by 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded.
It is also possible to seek modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This can occur in various situations. This can include when the noncustodial parent’s income has increased or decreased, the noncustodial parent is legally responsible for additional children or the child’s medical insurance coverage has changed. It is also considered to be a substantial change in circumstances is the child is now living with a different parent.
There are two ways a support order can be changed. This first is through an in-office negotiation. This is known as the child support review process. The other is through a court hearing. While many go through this process to reduce their financial obligations, it should be noted that this process could result in child support obligations going up, as it is based on the noncustodial parent’s income.
Whether it is child custody or child support, addressing fathers’ rights matters can be complex. Thus, it is important to become well informed on one’s options and rights. This will help ensure one’s rights are protected and the interests of the child or children involved.