Can your child support be modified?

If it has been more than one year since your child support order was entered by the Court, it is probably time to take your child support in for a check-up. Chances are that either you or former spouse has had an increase or decrease in income since the time your child support order was entered, or have had a significant change in your life. As such, you may be entitled to modification in the amount you pay or receive in support.

In Tennessee, child support can only be modified if there is a “significant variance” between the amount of support owed in the existing order and the proposed amount to be paid under a modified order. A “significant variance” is defined by statute in Tennessee and by the Tennessee Appellate Courts as at least a 15% change in the current child support amount and the proposed child support amount. For example, if the current child support order is set at $1,000.00, then for the Court to lower the amount you would have to show that the new presumptive child support order would be set not higher than $850.00, or 15% lower. Alternatively, to raise the amount of child support that you receive, you would have to show that the new order would be no less than $1,150.00, or 15% higher.

In addition to the respective incomes of the parents, you should be aware of other factors such as a child no longer attending daycare, an increase in child care costs, changes in health insurance expenses, or having another child born to one of the parents. These factors can have a direct and substantial impact on your current child support order.

Do you have a child support order that may be out of date and not reflective of you or the other parent’s current financial situation? At Fidelis Law, we regularly work alongside client who are faced with an outdated or simply incorrect child support order. If you would like more information on child support matters or to find out if you may be entitled to a child support modification, please call or email us at Fidelis Law. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.