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How to Modify a Tennessee Child Support Agreement

One of the most important things to understand about modifying a Tennessee child support agreement is that the parent seeking modification must be able to prove that there is a “significant variance,” defined by the child support guidelines as a 15 percent change, between the current child support amount and a newly calculated prospective amount.

Typically, the initial step in the child support modification process is to obtain the other parent’s income information. Some parenting plans contain provisions for the exchange of information, but if yours does not, you may still be able to request the information you need. An attorney can explain more about obtaining income information early in the process.

However, if you are not able to get the other parent’s income information, it is possible to continue with the analysis by making an educated guess about this income. To determine whether there is a significant variance, it’s also necessary to factor in the number of nights each parent spends with the child and the related childcare and healthcare costs.

Child support worksheets make it easier to use this information to calculate a new prospective child support amount. If there is at least a 15 percent difference between the prospective child support amount and the amount in the current child support order, this constitutes a significant variance.

It’s also important to note that certain exceptions to the significant variance guideline exist for low-income providers. To learn more about these exceptions, and to discuss the details of your case, consult a child support attorney in Nashville.

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