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We have a new opinion about modifications of child support.  Child support is one of the more common areas of post-divorce modifications.  People change incomes, insurance and day care amounts change, and most importantly your child support does not automatically stop once a child turns 18.  In Mitchell v. Hall, a Father filed for a child support modification because the second child was turning 18.  The court granted the modification, but only took it back to the date of the final hearing which caused the father to have a support arrearage.  This is not correct.  Once you file your motion or petition to modify, the court has the ability to go all the way back to the date of filing or like in this case, if the child turns 18 after filing, back to that date.  The Court of Appeals correctly found that the Father should not have arrears and the modification should go back to the date he turns 18.

Also good to note – and beware self-employed people – attorneys and courts aren’t stupid, we notice when you magically stop making income from your business yet maintain the same standard of living to try to game child support.  If you want to claim to be making less money, don’t buy a BMW that requires monthly payments of $700 per month.  A good divorce attorney in Tennessee or anywhere else is going to bust you on that 99% of the time, ESPECIALLY if the gross receipts for your company have gone UP!  I guarantee he did not speak with his attorney before he did that or his divorce lawyer would have told him NOT to get that BMW until after he was done explaining to the court he was broke!

To read the whole opinion, click HERE or cut and paste the following link:

https://www.tba.org/sites/default/files/mitchelld_022616.pdf

 

Morgan Smith is a divorce attorney located in downtown Nashville.  To set up a consultation for your divorce case, call us at (615) 620-5848 or use our contact form to email us.