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When do you need to change child support arrangements?

Child support orders exist so that you can provide for your child even when you may not be with them all the time. It’s crucial, therefore, that you make changes to your child support arrangements when necessary so that you can continue to support your child and meet their needs.

Here are just three reasons why you might need to change your child support orders.

1. Loss of job

If you lose your job, you’ll probably take a bit of a financial hit before you can find a new job and get back on your feet. It’s important that you notify the child support agency of your unemployment so that they can modify your child support amount. That way, you can still afford to make the payment even when you don’t have a job.

2. Change in your child’s needs

Child support is for the benefit of your child and to ensure that you meet their needs. However, if any of those needs change, your child support payment will need to change with it. Examples might include enrolling in a new school, needing a medical procedure or participating in after-school activities.

3. Change in your cost of living

Just as your child’s needs might change during your period of paying child support, so too might your circumstances change. While unemployment is one factor that can affect your cost of living, you might still experience change even if you don’t lose your job. For instance, a medical emergency is a common occurrence that can cause your cost of living to increase. In this case, you might not be able to make your current child support payment if you have to cover your own medical expenses.

Look out for this exception

While some states allow incarcerated individuals to change their child support arrangements, this is not a valid reason in Tennessee. Unfortunately, if you go to jail, Tennessee law does not allow you to change your child support.

Still, under the above three circumstances, changing child support arrangements is possible. It is a process that requires open and honest communication with yourself and your ex. After all, your child’s well-being is at stake. They rely on you to give them the support they need, and as their parent, you should always be able to give it. 

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