My Ex Received a Substantial Raise – Am I Entitled to Increased Child Support?
The amount of child support you receive from your ex-spouse was determined at the time your divorce was finalized. This does not, however, mean that the child support you receive must remain the same until your children age out. In fact, your case is entitled to a review every three years. If the court determines that there has been a material and substantial change in your spouse’s circumstances – such as a substantial raise – that will effect at least a 20 percent change in the child support payments you receive (or at least $100 per month), it will allow a child support modification request.
Court Ordered Child Support
If you and your ex are on reasonable terms and your spouse agrees to pay you more child support, that might seem like the best path forward. The fact is, however, that without a court-ordered modification, you have no legal standing if your former spouse changes his or her mind about the increased payments sometime in the future. In such an instance, you will have no recourse other than beginning the often-lengthy child support modification process at that time. It is in you and your children's best interests to go through the court in the first place.
The Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division
If you have an existing child support order, you can contact your local Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division to request a child support review. Going through the Attorney General is a free process, and you will not need to hire an attorney. Importantly, however, the OAG can only determine whether the current child support order complies with the Texas guidelines; only a court can modify an existing order.
Working with a Family Law Attorney
If you think you may be entitled to increased child support payments through a child support modification, there are several advantages to working with a family law attorney:
Your attorney will carefully review your circumstances to determine if you qualify for a child support modification.
Your attorney will calculate how much your child support payments are likely to increase.
Your attorney will work to get your case on the court’s docket more quickly than the Office of the Attorney General can.
You will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that an experienced legal professional is working to protect you and your children’s rights and best interests.
Whichever path forward you choose, obtaining child support in the amount to which you are entitled is too vital to your children's futures not to pursue.