The court may modify a child support decree if the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the decree have materially and substantially changed since the date of its rendition. The relevant measuring period is not affected by an intervening custody modification.
Evidence of past and present financial circumstances
Without evidence setting out the parties' financial circumstances both at the time of the original decree and at the time of the hearing in the suit to modify, the court cannot make a determination that there has been a material and substantial change.
NOTE: If the child support guidelines were in place at the time of the divorce and were used to determine the amount of the obligor's child support obligation as a percentage of net resources, the absence of specific evidence of the obligor's financial condition at the time of the divorce may be immaterial.
Evidence of child's past and present needs
A court may determine that a material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred so as to justify modification of support without any showing that the child's needs have changed since rendition of the existing order.
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