While the Court cannot modify the terms of a property division the Court can always modify the terms of a divorce regarding spousal support and matters related to a child. The average person will relocate about a dozen times during their adult lifetimes. Even if the move is only from one part of the Metroplex to another one, a relocation almost always affects aspects of child custody and visitation.
Other reasons for modification include the onset or removal of a parent’s disability. The Court has the power to modify the orders anytime there has been a substantial change in circumstances and the new request is in the best interest of the child. On a similar note, many people change jobs even more frequently than they change addresses. Since they almost invariably involve salary changes, a financial support modification action can always follow such changes.
The compassionate Arlington divorce modification lawyers at the Welch Law Firm understand how these changes affect your family. Many of the people on our professional team come from divorced families or have been divorced themselves. So, we work hard to find the least disruptive solution which also upholds your financial and legal rights. Through it all, we proactively communicate with you, so you are never in the dark.
The Court can always modify custody and visitation. For most requests, a party seeking a modification must show there has been substantial change in circumstances and that their requested change is in the best interest of the child. However, requests to change primary custody or geographic restrictions within one year of the prior order require the party to show that the child’s current circumstances are substantially likely to cause emotional or physical harm.
To modify the conservator who designates the primary residence immediately a party must show the child’s current circumstances are substantially likely to cause emotional or physical harm, that the child is over 12 and wishes to change homes, or the primary conservator has abandoned care for six months.
There are also times when a party is arrested, using alcohol or drugs, abusing the child, or committing some other act that’s provides an emergency basis for the Court to modify the prior orders.
The experienced attorneys of the Welch Law Firm, PLLC can guide you through the modification options and find the best solution for your case.
Financial Support Modification
In Texas, financial support modifications usually involve child support payments but can also involve the modification of spousal support.
As for child support, Texas is a percentage-of-income state. Obligors (people paying child support) almost always pay a set percentage of their net income, depending on the number of children. Net income for child support purposes is often different from net income for other purposes because it only allows you to deduct a certain amount for taxes or other limited deductions.
So, in most cases, the obligor’s income is the only material factor. If income has substantially and permanently changed, and that change was made in good faith, the judge will increase or decrease the support payments. If the obligor only has W-2 income, these elements are relatively easy to prove. If the obligor has any self-employment or other income, the issues are cloudier.
Alimony modifications could involve economic changes. They could also involve several kinds of lifestyle changes.
The amount of support hinges on many factors. Chief among them are the obligor’s ability to pay and the obligee’s (person receiving support) economic need. If either part of this formula substantially and permanently changes, a modification could be in order. Furthermore, if the obligee remarries or becomes involved in a committed relationship, the obligor may ask for termination of payments.
Custody and support orders are never set in stone. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family modification lawyer in Arlington, contact the Welch Law Firm PLLC. After-hours, virtual, and home visits are available.