According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, there are over 23,000 child-support obligation cases open in Bell County. With that in mind, Texans are keeping an eye on changes to child support law set to take effect Saturday, September 1.

These changes could mean higher payments for some, and unless child support orders fall under the state family code guideline, it's about to get harder to make changes to child support orders. Parents who have come to their own agreements about child support will want to take note.

This weekend, the official change goes into effect and the only way a parent can amend a child support order is if conditions of the child or other people affected by payments change substantially.

Central Texas attorney Steven Walden with the Carlson Law Firm tells KWTX News 10, "A party who is paying child support, if there's a difference in their income - for example, their income has gone down - they can actually go back to court and show that substantial, material change which affects the parties and ask for a modification."

According to Walden, if an increase in income takes place, either party can go back to court and ask for an increase in child support.

Additionally, those paying child support will now be required to help cover costs of dental insurance. The additional payment will not be automatic, however. Those receiving child support will need to file with the Texas Attorney General's Office in order to add dental coverage.

It's all part of a bill titled SB 550. A representative of Paxton's office tells KWTX the legislation was passed three years ago, but state workers needed time to update computer systems to ensure payments could be processed.


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