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Knoxville Family Law Blog

College expenses and child support: Answer these questions

As a divorced parent, you may have a variety of questions on mind as your child graduates high school and moves onto college. If you neglect to answer the appropriate questions, it could harm your financial situation while also making things worse on your child.

Below are several questions to address in regards to college expenses and child support:

Holiday challenges after a divorce

The holidays can be a very stressful time for even the happiest of families. For Tennessee families that are in the process of a divorce or have recently completed their proceedings and are now approaching their first holiday season with a child custody order in place, the stress levels can go off the charts.

But you can do some things to prepare yourself and minimize your stress. First, recognize that this year will be different. That does not mean worse, it means different and you will have to begin to create new traditions and experiences for your children. By designing a comprehensive parenting plan for you and your children, you can help set expectations properly and prevent misunderstandings from becoming open conflicts.

Can a child's preference affect custody arrangements?

Determining child custody arrangements is one of the most stressful and fraught aspects of any divorce. Judges are required to consider a wide range of variables in order to ensure that the child's best interests are protected, and no single factor outweighs the rest.

Often, a child may express a wish to remain with one parent over another, or otherwise hold strong opinions as to how custody arrangements should be made. In these situations, do the child's wishes have any influence on the judge's decision?

When can child support be decreased?

Have you been trying to balance too little for too long? Whether you're the one paying child support due to a court order, or the one receiving it as a custodial parent, you may have been facing difficult financial decisions because of an outdated child support order. You may be struggling to make ends meet and struggling to keep up your end of the bargain.

It's simple, really. Because our lives are always changing, our child support orders often need to be changed, too. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as making a phone call (nor should it be). Tennessee's Department of Human Services (DHS) sets forth specific requirements that must be met in order to even consider making a change. The good news is that both non-custodial and custodial parents have the right to ask for their child support order to be reviewed and potentially revised. 

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