When can you request a child support modification?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | blog, Family Law

Shifts in your financial situation can make it more difficult to provide for your children. Whether you are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, you can request an adjustment to a child support order in Tennessee. However, the courts will only grant a change in specific scenarios.

Before requesting a change, here is what you need to know about child support modifications.

Significant variance

Typically, courts will only make modifications to a child support order if there is a “significant variance” in circumstances from when the order was initially issued. A significant variance could include one of the following scenarios:

  • You or the other parent has another child to financially support
  • One party experiences a major change in income, including those resulting from receiving an inheritance, winning the lottery or losing a job
  • One of the children supported by the order becomes disabled
  • Child care costs increase for the affected children

Additionally, courts will only consider modifications for a minimum 15% adjustment between the original payment and the requested amount. For low-income parties, the minimum difference is 7.5%.

Other factors

There are additional factors that will impact how the courts will handle child support modification requests. Judges will not grant a request by a non-custodial parent who is intentionally behind on his or her payments. Additionally, courts can waive the significant variance requirement for cases involving increases in health care costs for the children covered by the order.

If you have experienced a major change in your financial circumstances, you may want to consider a modification to your child support order. A strong case can help to ensure a fair payment amount.

Costner & Greene Attorneys at Law

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Maryville, TN 37804

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