Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Modifying Child Support

You can modify child support at any time so long as you can prove one thing:

1. There would be a 15% change between the current support amount ordered and the new amount to be ordered.

For example, if your current support amount is $100 per month, you would have to show that the new support amount would be $115 per month to get an upward modification or $85 to get a downward modification.  If the calculations came out to anything between $86-$114, your Petition to Modify Child Support would be denied.

Numerous factors affect the calculation of child support.  Some of those include:

1. GROSS income of the parties (minus allowable deductions for self-employed individuals).
2. Number of days out of the year that each parent spends with the child(ren).
3. How much each parent pays for health insurance for the child(ren) per month.
4. How much each parent pays for work -related child care for the child(ren) per month.
5. How much each parent pays for uncovered medical expenses for the child(ren) per month.
6. Other children living in the home of each parent.
7. Other children not living in the home of each parent.
8. The Guidelines also allow for deviations up or down under limited exceptional circumstances.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Interview with News Channel 9

Click the link below to watch my interview with News Channel 9 discussing the legalities of buying and selling fake positive pregnancy tests.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Biggest Mistake Clients Make Is….

The biggest mistake divorce clients make is to not consult with a financial advisor after getting their divorce.  I am not a financial expert so I don’t give financial advice beyond the basic tax/penalties of retirement transfers and alimony payments.

Some of my clients receive a lot of money when they get divorced, money that comes in different forms: alimony, child support, retirement, pension, social security, etc.

I advise every client who gets a decent amount of money out of their divorce to seek the advice of a professional.  Why would you go through the hassle of paying an attorney to get you thousands of dollars, get advised to see a financial advisor and then not follow that advice?  Why?  That is foolish!

Don’t be foolish.  Most financial advisors will talk to you for free so you have nothing to lose.  You have the ability to maximize your dollar and minimize your tax liability and penalties on the money you get from your divorce if you manage your money properly.

Take my advice.  Talk to a financial expert.

And finally, don’t plan your budget on anticipated payments of child support, alimony, etc.  If you plan your budget as though you have that money in your pocket and your ex-spouse doesn’t pay you, you will suffer badly.  Sure, you can always file for contempt but that doesn’t pay the rent or the car note.  That doesn’t prevent foreclosure or repossession.  That doesn’t stop credit companies from raising interest rates for late payments and making your debts impossible to pay off.

Don’t make these mistakes.  Be smart with your money and your budget.  Talk to an expert.  Plan your financial future as much as possible.  If you can, set up a contingency plan in case your ex-spouse doesn’t pay you what is ordered by the court.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.

Don’t make yourself dependent upon someone else fulfilling their responsibilities, especially when that ‘someone else’ is the very person you couldn’t trust or depend on when you were married to them. That makes no sense.  No pun intended.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Can I Modify My Parenting Plan?

Parenting Plans can be modified.  You have to show that a material change in circumstances has occurred.  It is possible that the other parent’s failure to abide by your current parenting plan may constitute grounds to prove that a material change in circumstances has occurred thereby justifying a modification of your current parenting plan.

Tennessee law provides, “If the issue before the court is a modification of the court's prior decree pertaining to custody, the petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence a material change in circumstance. A material change of circumstance does not require a showing of a substantial risk of harm to the child. A material change of circumstance may include, but is not limited to, failures to adhere to the parenting plan or an order of custody and visitation or circumstances that make the parenting plan no longer in the best interest of the child.” T.C.A. 36-6-101(a)(2B).

Is your child’s other parent following your parenting plan?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

In 2011, the Tennessee Supreme Court approved plain-language forms for uncontested divorces without significant legal issues, known as “agreed” divorces in the new documents.

It is always wise to use an attorney when dealing with a legal matter, but the reality is that not everyone can afford an attorney.

My fees for uncontested divorces are very modest so if you need my help, please call.  You might be surprised.

If you still can’t afford an attorney, here are some helpful plain-language forms that have been approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Tennessee Divorce Forms:

If you have minor children, don’t forget to take your parenting class. (See below)

Hamilton County, Tennessee Parenting Class Schedule:

Hamilton County, Tennessee Circuit Court Filing Fees:

Best of luck.


The information you obtain from this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to me until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
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