Knoxville Modification & Enforcement Attorney
When a circuit court or chancery court judge issues a divorce decree dissolving a marriage in Tennessee, the judgment will include court orders regarding matters such as child custody, child support and alimony. If circumstances later change, one or both parties may wish to modify those orders. Getting a court order modified requires going back to court and following the proper legal procedure, and if one party opposes a proposed modification, then the parties may have to litigate the matter in court, with the judge ultimately deciding whether or not to modify an order. Knoxville modifcation & enforcement attorney Patrick L. Looper will work with you and your former spouse to come to agreement on a proposed modification. In contested modification proceedings, Patrick L. Looper is your staunch advocate fighting to see that any modification is in your and your children’s best interests. Our office also handles enforcement proceedings regarding Tennessee child custody and child support orders in Knoxville.
Modification of child support in Tennessee
Children grow, and their needs change. Perhaps it’s time for braces or to take up a new extracurricular activity. Or perhaps the paying parent has suffered a significant decrease in income or is now responsible for supporting more children. When the difference between the current support amount and a proposed new amount is 15% of more, a parent can request a modification of the child support order, either through an administrative modification with the Tennessee Child Support Division or a judicial modification in the courts. In low income families, the difference need only be 7.5%.
Knoxville alimony modification lawyer
There are several different kinds of alimony which may be awarded in a Tennessee divorce. Whether or not an alimony award can be modified depends in part on the type of alimony in question. When alimony is modifiable, it requires a substantial and material change in circumstances. This could be an up or down change in the finances of the payor or the recipient, for instance. Also, if the party receiving alimony remarries or moves in with another person, this is typically grounds to modify or terminate alimony.
Modification of child custody
As children grow and develop, their needs may change, including the parent with whom they live and where they attend school. Many of these changes can be anticipated and built into the original child custody agreement, but unforeseen changes would require going back to the negotiating table or back into court for a modification. Also, parental relocation most often requires a modification of child custody arrangements and a new parenting plan and visitation schedule. Tennessee law requires a parent to provide a notice of intent to the other parent 60 days in advance of any move out of state or an in-state move of more than 100 miles. The nonmoving parent has 30 days to object to the move, in which the case the moving parent would need to petition the court. The judge in a parental relocation case would decide whether the move was in the best interests of the child. A modification of the child custody order may involve a modification of support orders as well.
Enforcement of family law court orders
Court orders can only be modified on a showing of a significant change in circumstances, but what if one party is simply not complying with the existing order, such as failing to pay support on time or missing scheduled drop-offs, pick-ups and exchanges? As a former spouse or parent, you have several options available to make sure custody and support orders are enforced. For instance, the Tennessee Child Support Enforcement Services can intercept tax refunds and exercise other powers over an individual who is failing to pay child support. Your Knoxville family law attorney can also take your ex to court for contempt of court for violating court orders. Judges have broad powers in civil or criminal contempt proceedings, including sentencing a delinquent parent to jail time or community service, or revoking a driver’s license or hunting license or taking other actions to enforce compliance. The judge can also determine the amount of child support arrearage, assess 12% interest on top of the amount owed, and issue an Income Withholding Order for payment.
Get Help with Modification and Enforcement of Divorce Court Orders in Knoxville
If you are seeking or opposing a modification to child custody or support orders, or if you find yourself in a dispute over the enforcement of family law court orders, Knoxville modification & enforcement attorney Patrick L. Looper can provide the advice and representation you need to make sure your life after a Tennessee divorce is proceeding according to the plan laid out in your marital settlement agreement, parenting plan and visitation schedule, and all applicable court orders. Call Patrick L. Looper, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation at 865-229-3164.