Upon application of either party, the court shall decree an increase or decrease of support when there is found to be a significant variance, as defined in the child support guidelines, between the guidelines and the amount of support currently ordered, unless the variance has resulted from a previously court-ordered deviation from the guidelines and the circumstances that caused the deviation have not changed.
The necessity to provide for the child’s health care needs shall also be a basis for modification of the amount of the order, regardless of whether a modification in the amount of child support is necessary.
The court shall not refuse to consider a modification of a prior order and decree as it relates to future payments of child support because the party is in arrears under that order and decree, unless the arrearage is a result of intentional action by the party.
The birth or adoption of another child for whom an obligor is legally responsible to support and is supporting shall constitute a substantial and material change of circumstances for seeking a review of the existing order to determine if the addition of such child, and any credits applicable for the addition of such child under the department’s child support guidelines, would result in a significant variance under such guidelines. If the significant variance is demonstrated by the review, the amount of an existing child support order may be modified by the court.
(Based on T.C.A. § 36-5-101(g)(1) thru (4))
If you need help with child support modification, please contact Shea, Moskovitz & McGhee.
Child Custody Modification:
If the issue before the court is a modification of the court’s prior decree pertaining to custody, the petitioner must prove a material change in circumstance. A material change of circumstance does not require a showing of a substantial risk of harm to the child. A material change of circumstance may include, but is not limited to, failures to adhere to the parenting plan or an order of custody and visitation or circumstances that make the parenting plan no longer in the best interest of the child.
In each contested case, the court shall make such a finding as to the reason and the facts that constitute the basis for the custody determination.
Nothing contained within the provisions of this subdivision shall interfere with the requirement that parties to an action for legal separation, annulment, absolute divorce, or separate maintenance incorporate a parenting plan into the final decree or decree modifying an existing custody order.
Nothing shall imply a mandatory modification to the child support order.
If the issue before the court is a modification of the court’s prior decree pertaining to a residential parenting schedule, then the petitioner must prove a material change of circumstance affecting the child’s best interest. A material change of circumstance does not require a showing of a substantial risk of harm to the child. A material change of circumstance for purposes of modification of a residential parenting schedule may include, but is not limited to, significant changes in the needs of the child over time, which may include changes relating to age; significant changes in the parent’s living or working condition that significantly affect parenting; failure to adhere to the parenting plan; or other circumstances making a change in the residential parenting time in the best interest of the child.
(Based on TCA § 36-6-101(a)(2)(B) thru (C))
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