Law Office of David L. Scott

Does Child Support Increase if My Salary Increases?

In a divorce involving children, one parent typically pays child support to the other. The amount that a parent pays is based on child support guidelines put in place by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. These guidelines take into account the parents’ combined incomes as well as the number of children the parent is supporting.

So, what happens if you pay child support, and you get a raise at work? Will your child support payments increase as well? It depends.

Once the court decides on a child support amount, it prefers to keep it that way. The court likes stability, so for the most part, the amount of child support will stay the same unless there is a good reason to modify it.

A good reason for a modification would be a change in a parent’s financial situation. Typically, modifications are used when a parent’s income has decreased, and they want to decrease their child support payment. However, it works the other way, too. If the paying parent receives a raise, the custodial parent can ask the court for a child support increase.

However, the raise must be substantial. If the parent receives an extra $100 a month, for example, that might not be enough to warrant an increase. However, something along the lines of $500 a month or more is a considerable amount. The parent will want to discuss this with their lawyer, who can run the calculation to see if seeking a modification is permitted.

What to Know About Child Support Modifications

Keep in mind that a child support modification is usually only retroactive to the date of filing your request for modification. If you find out that the other parent got a significant raise, you need to file for an increase in child support right away. The judge goes by the date you file your petition. They cannot give you retroactive increases based on the date of the raise.

However, you can ask your ex-spouse to agree to an increase in child support based on when they received the raise. If they refuse to agree to it, though, you need to contact an attorney right away so you can get a court order for the increase.

Also, Tennessee law allows either parent —custodial or non-custodial — to request a review of child support at any time. In order for the change to be made, though, the change in circumstances must be substantial. A change could include an increase or decrease in income, incarceration of either parent, a new child, or a child who has died or become an adult.

Contact Our Murfreesboro Child Support Lawyer Today

Child support does not automatically increase simply because the paying spouse is earning more money. However, you or the other parent can request a modification to increase the amount.

If you are looking to modify your child support, a Murfreesboro divorce lawyer from The Law Office of David L. Scott can guide you through the process. To schedule a consultation, call (615) 896-7656 or fill out the online form.

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