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When life changes, should your child support order also change?

Life is full of unexpected changes and struggles, and sometimes, these things can impact your financial health as well. When significant changes in circumstances make it difficult to live with the terms of your current child support order, it can be a serious concern for you and your Tennessee family, but you do have options.

In some cases, it may be possible to seek and obtain a modification to an existing support order. Whether you are a parent who needs more money to care for his or her child or you are the supporting parent facing extenuating and difficult circumstances, you do not have to face it alone.

Who is eligible for a support modification?

Both the custodial and the non-custodial parent have the right to seek modification of a support order. There will be a careful and thorough review of the case before a decision is given, and the applicant must present evidence to validate his or her claim of a significant change in financial circumstances, which may include:

  • The birth of an additional child who is not included in the current support order
  • The current support order, including considerations for a child who is now emancipated or deceased
  • A significant change in income, such as loss of a job or an inheritance
  • A child included on the original support order who is now disabled or has significant medical needs

The requested variance in the support order must be at least 15 percent higher or lower than the original support amount. The state requires that both parties complete an Affidavit of Income and Expenses before the review process begins. Current financial information from both parties will come under careful judicial or administrative review before a decision.

Not everyone who wishes to obtain a modification will be eligible for one. Those interested would be wise to seek a clear understanding of his or her rights and potential legal options.

Navigating post-divorce changes

Post-divorce life continues to change, even long after the finalization of all orders. These changes could compromise your ability to adequately care for your child on the current amount of support or make a full payment every month. When faced with such difficult and complex circumstances, you need experience on your side.

A family law attorney can help you navigate these changes and determine if you could qualify for a modification to your current child support order. Post-divorce issues can be complicated, but you have the right to turn to an experienced legal ally for guidance.

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