Child support payments are to be used for your children’s benefit, to ensure that they are clothed, fed, educated, and kept healthy. While we know parents want what’s best for their children, we also know that child support can be a contentious issue.
The truth is, the person who collects child support can use it for just about anything, and there’s not much you can do unless your child is being neglected; in that case, you can petition for full custody. That said, there are ways to modify a child support order if the circumstances warrant it. No matter which side of the fence you are on, you must be able to prove the following when filing the request for modification:
- Either parent has an additional child who they are supporting and who was not named on the original child support agreement
- Either parent has experienced a significant change in their income (either positive or negative) caused by a promotion, demotion, layoff, lottery win, or inheritance
- Either parent has a qualified other child who is either now emancipated or has passed away since the original child support agreement was put into place
- A child receiving support from the agreement has become disabled
For a modification to be approved, Tennessee requires that there is a 15% difference between the amount of the existing child support order and the proposed child support order. The requirement is 7.5% for someone who is considered a low-income provider.
What if my co-parent isn’t paying his or her fair share?
It is quite possible that you could wind up needing more money each month to support your child and his or her growing needs. It is also possible that you could be entitled to more child support because your co-parent makes more money now than he/she did before. If you suspect your ex is hiding money or assets to avoid paying more child support, or is purposely underemployed to avoid paying more in support, call us: there are legal options available to you.
What if I can’t afford what I’m paying?
If you are the one paying child support and can no longer afford the monthly amount, you can request a modification that reduces the amount you are required to pay.
Affidavit of Income and Expenses
Each parent will be mailed this affidavit. It is required that both parents complete it honestly and in its entirety. It must be filed with the appropriate office. The official assigned to your case will examine the income of both parents to determine if the request for modification is valid and should be granted. You may have an easier time with this process if you work with one of our child support attorneys, as our team will file the paperwork and represent you in a hearing if need be.
Have your circumstances changed so much that you can no longer afford the amount of child support you are required to pay? Do you need more money each month because your child’s circumstances have changed? Either way, the team at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates can help you navigate the filing of a request for modification. Call us today at 615-977-9370 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Columbia, Franklin, Brentwood, and all of Tennessee.