Ask A Lawyer: How Do I Get My Child Support Reduced?


I agreed to higher child support then required by the state of TN and I would like to get it reduced to the outlined state level.

What is the process to get this done?





The specific procedure for modifying child support depends upon the terms of the court order establishing the amount and the laws of the applicable state. 

For example, if your court order states you are paying more than the statutory amount for a specific reason or reasons, and those reasons no longer apply, then seeking a reduction may be fairly simple.  If your court order does not acknowledge that you are voluntarily paying more than the statutory amount, a reduction to statutory may be possible regardless of the circumstances.  However, the opposing party who has come to rely upon the higher amount may counter-petition, asserting reasons to keep you paying the higher amount.

The state in which you pursue the reduction may also be an issue, as you indicate you now live in Georgia.  If the opposing party still lives in Tennessee, then you probably have to go back to court in Tennessee to seek the reduction.  If neither party still lives in Tennessee, you may be able to pursue the matter in Georgia.  As the jurisdictional laws regarding child support vary by state, you should consult attorneys licensed in both states, or a qualified domestic litigation firm that has attorneys in both states such as Cordell & Cordell, to evaluate your child support amount and the jurisdictional issues and options.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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