In a recent family law case coming out of a Texas court, the father involved in the case appealed the trial court’s decision to modify the child support payments he was making to his ex-wife and child. On appeal, the father argued that the court did not have the right to modify their agreement, since the parties had signed a contract saying they would not make any changes to the agreement for three years after signing. Looking at the document in question, the court of appeals denied the father’s appeal and enforced the lower court’s modification.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the mother and father in this case divorced in 2016 after having one child together. Originally, the father was ordered to pay the mother $500 in child support payments; this amount was calculated after considering both parties’ incomes and assets, as well as what would be in the best interest of the child.
In 2017, the mother asked the court to modify the agreement. She alleged that the original amount was not in compliance with the Texas Family Code, which sets out amounts for each party to pay based on their individual circumstances. The mother filed an additional petition to modify the child support payments in 2019, again asking for an increase in financial support from the father. In 2021, a bench trial was held virtually, and the court ordered the father to increase his contributions. The father appealed the court’s decision.
On appeal, the father pointed to an agreement that the parties had signed in 2019. This agreement stated, said the father, that the two parties would work out any disputes regarding child support payments among themselves. Because of this agreement, the court did not have the authority to order him to increase his payments.
The court looked at the agreement between the mother and father and found that the father had not actually pointed to any specific terms in the agreement saying that child support modifications had to be negotiated between the parties themselves. In fact, the agreement left the issue of child support “unresolved” and did not disallow the mother from filing a petition for modification of the payments.
Because the father had not pointed to any actual evidence in support of his claim, the court denied his appeal and agreed with the trial court that his child support payments should be substantially increased.
Are You Facing Family Law Issues in Texas?
At Guest & Gray, we handle a wide variety of cases, including those involving family law issues such as divorce, child custody, modifications, and spousal support. In our experience, family law cases can be the toughest for individuals to face, and we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way. We offer you the high-quality, empathetic representation you need at the time you need it the most. For your free and confidential consultation, give us a call today at 972-564-4644.