Can I Modify a Child Support Order?

Either parent can file a petition to review child support at any time. However, they must be able to prove there is a significant variance between their current situation and the stipulation in the original order.

Tennessee defines significant variance as:

  • a 15% or greater change in gross income;
  • a change in the number of children the paying party is responsible for supporting;
  • a child supported by the order has become disabled; and/or
  • a voluntary worksheet completed by both parents agreeing to modify the order is submitted to the court.

If the parent seeking modification is a ‘low-income provider,’ then a few different rules apply to the modification. For example, the change in income must be a 7.5% difference between the current order and the modified order.

How to Gain a Modification

Once one party has filed a petition for review, the court will give notice of the review initiation to the other party. If the court grants the request, a notification of a proposed adjustment will be sent to all relative parties who will have 30 days to contest the terms of the proposed revisions.

Modifications and Past-Due Payments

If the party seeking to modify the child support payments is doing so because they haven’t been able to pay child support either partially or fully, they could still be responsible for retroactive payments. For example, if the paying parent suffers an injury on the 1st of June, it may affect their ability to make the monthly support payment until the 15th of June and every subsequent month until the modification goes into effect. The paying parent could still be responsible for the interest on the child support arrearages, which is 12% of the monthly payment.

Experienced Lawyers

The modification process in Tennessee can be complex, especially if you aren’t knowledgeable about the legal requirements. Our attorneys at Conner & Roberts, PLLC can help you navigate the modification proceedings and help protect your best interests.

To schedule your initial consultation, call our firm at (423) 299-4489 or contact us online today.

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