When Can You Request a Child Support Modification?

In Tennessee, the Child Support Guidelines allow the parent providing child support payments to request a modification of the court order if “significant variance” occurs. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney is important as the state can update the guidelines over time and understanding the most current version helps determine what your legal options are. A lawyer can also assist you in preparing a strong case with all necessary evidence to increase your chances of securing approval from the judge.

Significant Change in Income

A common reason for people to seek a modification of the child support court order is when they experience a significant change in income with a salary reduction or loss of employment. The change must be at least 15 percent of your gross income. If you are dealing with either of those issues, it must not be due to your own behavior. If a judge considers that you are at fault for the loss of income or job, they may deny your request.

When preparing your case, you must provide substantial evidence about the change in income with tax forms and other documents and demonstrate that you are not responsible for your reduced earnings.

New Relationship That Directly Impacts Your Finances

If you remarry or have additional minor children to care for, you can request a modification of your child support court order. The state laws calculate child support based not only on your income, but also on the number of children you are responsible for and what their specific needs are.

If your former spouse remarries or passes away, Tennessee law automatically terminates your duty of alimony payments.


If you or your child’s custodial parent relocate farther away in the same state or to a difference state or country, the judge usually reviews the current child support agreement and may modify it accordingly. The judge keeps the child’s best interest at the center of their decision process. They can adjust the child support payments based on various factors such as the new professional opportunities for the adult moving, the child’s cost of living in a new area, and how the move affects travel.

Changes In Your Child’s Needs

If your child’s educational, developmental, or medical needs change, the custodial parent can request a modification for increased child support payment to help them care for the child. If your child has a disability that significantly interfere with their daily life and prevents them from living independently, both parents may need to continue providing for the child during adulthood.

In Tennessee, child support usually ends when the child turns 18. For a child with disability, the court may set the age to 21, or longer depending on the severity of the disability.

Let Hire Conner & Roberts, PLLC Help You File a Request for Child Support Modification

If you are considering requesting a child support modification, our attorneys can review your case and help you build a convincing case with effective evidence that show your petition is justified and supports your child’s best interests. We have extensive family law experience and have helped many families navigate post-divorce modifications. Our team is available to address any questions or concerns you may have, and we make sure to stay up to date with any change in the law that may affect your case.

Contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC, today at (423) 299-4489 to schedule a consultation to discuss your plan to request a child support modification in Chattanooga.

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