I live in Texas. My oldest son moved in with me 2 years ago. He is 14. Would there be much of a change in the amount that I pay in child support if I attempt to modify the support order?
Answer: This is not Texas specific advice, for that please consult a local lawyer.
In general if one or more children change the parent who they live with primarily child support will be adjusted. How it is adjusted depends on state laws, local practices and quite honestly the prejudices of the local judge hearing the case. Some states, like Missouri, have a formula which you can look up online to get a very good idea of how your payment will be affected. Other states have more general rules of thumb.
There are several factors that play into support calculations. Present incomes will be used. If either parents income has gone up or down dramatically that will be part of the final child support determination. If your income has gone up and your spouses down you could end up paying more for two children than you were for three for example.
However, in the average case where income are about the same as they were and the primary change is a child switching primary residences then what is likely to happen is there will be a lowering of your child support. Some states compute how much you will owe for the two children and then what your spouse would owe for the one and require you to pay the difference. Some are less lenient instead looking at how much money is saved by mom with the child being out of the house. The latter approach realizes that mom should not be required to get a smaller house because of this change. It figures things like house payments and utilities and the hidden costs of raising a child as still being expenses that mom has to pay because of the living situation that was agreed to or ordered up front.
Bottom line is you need local advice that not only knows the state law, but the local judges and how they are likely to rule. Most judges are amazingly consistent in family law cases and a lawyer that practices full time can probably give you a very close approximation of your support obligation. But nothing will happen automatically. You need to apply to the court for a modification.
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