The law in the State of Tennessee is very clear with regard to the financial obligation both parents have to a minor child. If the parents of a minor child divorce, or never marry in the first place, the court will typically enter a child support order obligating one parent to make a monthly financial contribution to the child until the child reaches adulthood. Unlike most court orders, child support orders are frequently modified after they are originally entered. Whether you are the parent paying child support, or receiving child support, you may be at a point where a modification has been requested or may be warranted. If so, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney before moving forward. If you preparing for an appointment with a Smyrna child support attorney, you may be wondering what documents you need to bring to the meeting. Although it is impossible to know with certainty what your attorney will need form you given the unique nature of child support cases, there are some documents that are commonly used in cases like yours. By compiling those documents, and preparing for your meeting, you will be helping both your attorney and yourself.
Child Support Modification Basics
Whether child support was ordered as part of a divorce, or a paternity case, the amount ordered was based on the factors that were relevant at the time the order was entered by the judge. One thing that makes child support order somewhat unique within the law is the fact that they are so frequently subject to change based on the fact that the various factors used in determining the support amount are also subject to change. Just the fact that your child grows older, and typically becomes more expensive to maintain, can be a factor that may warrant a review of the child support order. While it is possible to modify a child support order, there are conditions that must be met before a judge will even consider a modification. The most important of those conditions is usually the need for there to have been a “significant variance.”
Helping Your Smyrna Child Support Attorney – What to Bring?
Hiring an experienced Smyrna child support attorney to help you throughout the modification process is certainly a wise decision. You can help your attorney as well though by coming to your first meeting prepared. For example, putting together copies of some of the documents your attorney may need to review will help make your first meeting more productive and move the entre process along. With that in mind, some of the documents you may wish to bring include:
- Original divorce decree (if relevant)
- Order establishing paternity (if relevant)
- Any prior modification orders
- Documents relating to contempt proceedings if there have been any
- Records showing payments made or received over the last year
- Your tax returns for the last year or two
- The other parent’s tax returns for the last year or two if you have them
- Current pay stubs, or other proof of income, for the last 8 weeks
- Proof of any other source of income for you
- Proof of current income for the other parent if you have it
- Name, address, and contact information for the other parent
- Contact information for the other parent’s employer if you have it
- Layoff notice or other evidence of recently lost income for you
- Proof of medical insurance and cost of premiums for the child
- Proof of child care expenses (if relevant)
- Receipts for educational expenses (tuition, books, uniforms, extra-curricular activities)
- Proof of a recent marriage on your part or the other parent
- Information relating to the birth of a subsequent child for either parent
- Receipts for any other ongoing expenses for the child
By bringing all of these documents with you to the first meeting you will be able to spend the majority of the time actually focused on your plans and strategies for modifying the support, or opposing the modification, depending on which position you are taking.
If you are involved in a child support matter in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Smyrna child support attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.