Examples of Material & Substantial Change to modify orders – As part of our ongoing discussion on suits to modify child support orders, we will now dive deeper into a term called “material and substantial change” and the circumstances courts have determined fall under that umbrella.
When we say material and substantial change, we are referring to any changes to the family dynamic that may warrant a court to modify an existing order.
Per the Texas Family Code, a court can modify the order if the circumstances of either the child or person affected have substantially changed since the earlier of the date the order was rendered or the date the parties signed a mediated or collaborative-law agreement on which the order was based.
Whether a change is considered “material and substantial” is a fact-intensive inquiry decided on a case-by-case basis.
Below are examples of circumstances that may be considered material and substantial changes:
- Parent released from incarceration or incarcerated
- Change in parent-child relationship (conservatorship, paternity)
- Change in child’s residence and care provided
- Change in child’s needs
- Change in parent’s financial circumstances (increase or decrease, birth of another child)
- Change in cost to exercise possession of and access to child
- Change in child’s disability benefits
- Change in parent’s employment
- Change to intentional unemployment or underemployment
- Change in amount of possession
- Variance from child-support guidelines (court’s discretion to consider)
A petitioner who is looking to have child-support orders modified must present evidence of the conditions that existed at the time the order being modified was rendered and the conditions that exist at the time the modification is sought.
Before filing your case, give Nelson Law Group, PC a call. It is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.