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Modifying Child Support Payments in Chattanooga

After a divorce between individuals who share at least one child, one parent may be obligated by law to make regular child support payments to the other to take care of the child’s needs. A child support contract is often created at the time of the divorce proceedings but can be revisited down the line. The needs of both parents and their child can be re-evaluated over time and the agreement can be modified accordingly.

If you want to alter your child support agreement, a skilled child support lawyer could help. With a dedicated legal advocate, you could revisit the terms of your contract and settle on modifications that benefit both parties. Reach out to learn about the nuances of modifying child support payments in Chattanooga.

When to Modify a Child Support Contract

Every three years, the state will alert individuals involved in child support contracts and give them the right to have their case reviewed. This review is not automated, but it is an opportunity for the parties to determine if their contract is still relevant to their current financial situations.

If there has been a material change in circumstance for either of the parents, a child support modification may be warranted. In Chattanooga, this change in circumstance must include a 15 percent change in the paying parent’s income and a 15 percent variance in the final child support number, a rule known as the significant variance standard. Whenever that 15 percent of variance occurs, regardless of how much time has passed since the initial order, the parties are allowed to bring the case up for review by the court.

Another factor that could result in eligibility for a child support modification include permanent changes to the paying parent’s employment status. A knowledgeable lawyer in the area could determine if a parent’s current situation qualifies as a valid change in circumstance under state law.

How Child Support is Recalculated

The state uses a standardized child support worksheet to calculate child support, and the same tool is used to make payment modifications. Essentially, the worksheet is an Excel spreadsheet with built-in formulas. All of the information pertaining to the two parties is input into the worksheet to calculate an ultimate number for payments.

The information that the worksheet uses to calculate the final number can include:

  • The monthly gross income of each parent
  • The amount of health insurance payments
  • The amount of work-related childcare
  • The amount of time each parent spends with their child
  • Whether either parent has other children living in their home

A local attorney who has experience modifying child support agreements could further explain how this information factors into the recalculation of payments.

An Attorney Could Help With Modifying Child Support Payments in Chattanooga

If you have undergone a significant change in circumstance and no longer believe that your child support agreement is relevant to your current situation, you may be eligible to petition for a modification. A seasoned attorney could tell you if you a credible case for modification and guide you through the cumbersome legal process to achieve the changes you want. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation and learn more about your options for modifying child support payments in Chattanooga.

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