Changes in employment, health status and family size all impact a household’s finances. Perhaps your current child support arrangement does not fully cover your child’s health needs, or maybe you have had another child since the last review of the court order.

In Tennessee, either parent can request a review and adjustment of court-ordered child support every two years unless a significant change has occurred since the last review that warrants another review.

Understanding changed circumstances

To request a review before the two-year mark, you must demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Your child has become disabled
  • One party has had a significant change in income, including increased earnings, lottery winnings or inheritance
  • Another child supported by one parent has died or become emancipated
  • One party is currently supporting and legally responsible for a child not included on the previous worksheet
  • Parenting time and/or physical custody has changed

When two years or more have elapsed since the last review, one or more of these circumstances must still be present to warrant an adjustment to child support. In addition, the order will remain in effect unless a change in income supports at least a 15% change in support for the higher income parent or a 7.5% change for the parent who earns less.

Requesting a review

You can start the modification process at your local child support office or family court by filing the necessary paperwork. Both parents will receive a mailed Affidavit of Income and Expenses and must provide requested supporting documentation. The court will review these forms to determine whether a change in child support is appropriate.

As with the initial child support order, the modified order accounts for parenting time the child spends with each parent, each parent’s income and expenses, whether either parent is supporting additional children and the child’s health care and education expenses. The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines include a formula to calculate support.