Child Support Lawyer - Chattanooga, TN

Child support is an important issue in any divorce or separation. Whether you are the spouse who is receiving support or the one who will likely be paying support, it is important to protect your interests throughout the divorce process by working with an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer.

Ms. Vital, founder of Vital Law Office & Dispute Resolution Services, is an experienced attorney who can help you. From the firm’s Chattanooga office, she represents clients throughout Hamilton County, Tennessee, in child support and other divorce-related matters. Ms. Vital has been representing clients in all types of divorce matters for more than 20 years, and the firm’s approach is to provide personalized, client-centered service and favorable results. She will take the time to work with you, understand your concerns and remain in contact with you throughout your case.

Determining Child Support

Attorney Patricia Best Vital represents clients in all aspects of child support. Early in your case, she will look at the numbers and determine a likely range to expect for a court’s child support ruling. At this point, she will work with you to determine a game plan and negotiate a child support agreement acceptable to both sides, favorable to you and equitable in the eyes of the court. In many cases, this is not possible due to unreasonable demands or an unwillingness to negotiate from the other side. If this happens in your case, Ms. Vital will use her decades of legal knowledge and experience to protect your children’s rights in the courtroom.

Ms. Vital also helps clients after their divorces are finalized. Due to substantial changes in circumstances, it is common for parents to need to modify their child support orders. Attorney Patricia Best Vital can work with you to petition the court for a child support modification.

Can I Modify My Tennessee Child Support Agreement?

Tennessee child support agreements can be modified, sometimes.

Child support orders are not static. They can be changed. There are a number of situations that could trigger a request for a change. The needs of the child may increase. The child may take up an expensive extracurricular activity or have additional medical or dental needs that were not accounted for in the initial order. This could trigger the parent receiving child support payments to request a review.

The financial situation of the parent making the payments could also change. Perhaps this parent has additional, unforeseen financial obligations.

Whatever the reason for the need to modify the child support order, it is helpful to understand some of the basics before moving forward with the request. The laws that impact these requests are generally creatures of the state. As such, it is important to note that the information provided below is based on Tennessee state law and could vary for those in similar situations in other states.

When Can a Parent Request a Child Support Order Modification? 

Requests to review a modification to these orders can be made at any time, however, Tennessee’s Department of Human Services notes that there are some restrictions. For example, the agency deters parents from making a request within two years of a previous request.

A parent can overcome this restriction in certain situations. Examples include the addition of another child that requires financial assistance, a child that no longer requires financial assistance or a change in income. A sudden disability can also trigger a request for modification during this time period.

How Does a Parent Make a Request to Modify the Support Payment? 

Generally, the parent making the request will complete a Petition for Modification. The document requests information including the names and birth dates of the children receiving support as well as the reason for the request.

In order to move forward with a review, the request must result in a 15 percent difference between the current support amount and the new, requested payment. Low income families require a 7.5 percent difference.

How Does the Review Process Work? 

If the agency agrees to review the modification request, an Affidavit of Income and Expenses is sent to both parents. This document is designed to provide the agency with information about the income of both parents. Once the information is received, the Tennessee Child Support Division begins a review. The parents will receive notification after the review is complete. This notification will either provide the new modified support payment or state that the amount is not subject to change.

Contact a Chattanooga Child Support Lawyer for Help

Schedule a consultation with an experienced family law lawyer in Chattanooga, TN.