As circumstances change, a custodial parent may realize that the current child support order is no longer sufficient. Parents can request a modification if they think they need more financial support from the noncustodial parent.

Custodial parents may need a new child support order for many reasons. According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, parents can ask for a child support modification if they lose their job or have to work fewer hours. A modification may also be necessary if a child experiences health problems that result in a disability or expensive treatment.

When to request a modification

A parent should ask for a new child support order once it becomes evident that the child needs more financial support. The Tennessee Department of Human Services says that a modification takes effect from the date a parent files a petition. Parents who lose their job and wait several weeks to file for a modification will not receive larger payments for the weeks before they filed the paperwork.

How to start the process

A custodial parent may want to speak to the noncustodial parent about increasing the payment amount. However, only a Tennessee family court can officially change the support order. The parent should file paperwork through the local family court to begin the modification process.

What to include

A parent needs to provide documentation that demonstrates why a modification is necessary. He or she should include a copy of the current child support order, as well as a breakdown of expenses and income. Additionally, the parent should include copies of his or her tax returns and pay stubs. If they are relevant, a parent should also include paperwork detailing new health care expenses.

A new child support order may not always result in larger payments. A court evaluates the circumstances of both parents. A judge may not increase the payments if the noncustodial parent cannot afford it.