What’s Changing?

Did you know there are changes in the Texas Family Code taking effect in 2018? One of these changes has to do with dental insurance. Currently most noncustodial parents are ordered to pay child support, along with health insurance or, if not available at a reasonable cost, to pay some health supplement. Effective September 1, 2018, the Courts will begin ordering the noncustodial parent to cover their child’s dental insurance at a reasonable cost.

One of the biggest changes that will have an impact is that the Court will not have the ability to modify child support even if the parents agree to an amount that differs from the Texas Family Code guidelines. Currently, a court may modify an order for child support under three circumstances:

  • The circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the original order.
  • The parties have reached a mediated or collaborative law settlement agreement.
  • Within three years of the original order being rendered or last modified, the monthly amount of child support under the order differs either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the TFC child support guidelines.
  • These changes could impact the way family law attorneys advise their clients. Previously amicable parents may find themselves in a different battle due to being forced to adhere to the child support guidelines. It is important that family law attorneys become familiar with these changes in advance to properly advise their clients.