How the Courts are Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship: Recent Opinions on How o Financial Assistance from Family Prevents Lowering of Child Support

You already have your orders in place from your divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Now, a petition to modify is filed by the parent who is responsible for paying child support, otherwise known as the obligor parent. You see in their pleadings that they are requesting that the Court lower the amount of child support that they would be responsible for. You’re wondering now what you can do so you contact your attorney at Guest & Gray, P.C.

If an obligor parent wants to modify the child support order and argues that they make less now than before, then the Court, in determining whether to modify child support, has to consider all sources of obligor’s income, and not just his salary. That is, in Rumscheidt v. Rumscheidt, the 14th District Houston Court of Appeals held that where an obligor parent was receiving substantial financial assistance from his parents and family trust, which allowed him to live in a nice home and have a nice car and his parents paid for a lot of his expenses, then his child support shouldn’t be lowered. So, it would seem that one could argue that if the obligor parent is being helped by any family member (or maybe even a friend) when it comes to expenses or debt, then you have an argument to prevent less child support.