When can I reduce my Tennessee child support with more than one child?

When can I quit paying Tennessee child support when we have more than one child to support?  When can I reduce my Tennessee child support with more than one child?  When does Tennessee child support end or terminate when we have more than one child?

Tennessee child support should be reduced as a child reaches 18 or graduates with his or her regularly scheduled high school class. Specifically, T.C.A. Section 34-1-102(b) reads:

“Parents shall continue to be responsible for the support of each child for whom they are responsible after the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age if the child is in high school. The duty of support shall continue until the child graduates from high school or the class of which the child is a member when the child attains eighteen (18) years of age graduates, whichever occurs first.”

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recommends parents who have more than one child should modify or change the existing child support order to terminate support for the graduating child and modify the amount owed for the remaining child.  Any arrearages should be reduced to judgment and a repayment plan recorded.  If there is no arrearage owed, the modified child support order should reflect that, too.  All changes to the child support order must be approved by and entered as an order with the court.

If you have only one child and want to learn when that child support obligation ends, see When does Tennessee child support end for a parent of one child?

References, Resources and More:


Hi, this is Miles Mason.  This Tennessee child support answer is for our family law and divorce clients and friends in Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, Tennessee and the surrounding area.  When a parent owes child support for more than on child and the oldest graduates from high school, the obligation to pay child support ends only for the oldest when that child reaches 18 or graduates with his or her high school class, whichever occurs second.  So, keep a copy of the high school graduation brochure.  Child support is owed as long as the court order says so.  The question becomes how much is owed.  Because some judges in Tennessee may take the position that you owe the higher amount until the child support order is modified, we advise parents to obtain an order amending child support as each child graduates high school.  Even though the child support obligation ceases for the oldest child, there is no clear answer as to what amount is owed for the other child or children unless new child support worksheets are run and included as part of a court order.  Get an amended order to ensure that both parents understand the obligations.  This is the also recommended by Tennessee’s Court of Appeals.  If you have any other questions, call us.


  • carl scott

    If you are paying child support on more than one child, and the oldest child turn eighteen. Can both parents make an adjustment in the amount to be paid for the other children without going to court?

    November 14, 2015
    • This is called a private agreement. Child support orders are enforceable until modified by a court. So, even if there is a private agreement, courts will enforce the court’s order and not the private agreement – even if admitted to later. All child support agreements are subject to court approval before entry.
      Miles Mason, Sr.
      Attorney, Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC. Serving clients in Memphis • Germantown • Collierville • West Tennessee. Our response is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only way to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an experienced Tennessee family law attorney, let the attorney review pleadings and orders, listen to you, ask follow up questions, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an opinion. The basic information provided is intended as a public service only. A complete discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. All information on this site is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. Answers are provided for informational purposes only.

      November 29, 2015
  • James Herring

    I’ve been trying to stop child support for one child after she graduated in 2017. My Ex-spouse quietly refuses to provide me with information needed for the worksheet that I must fill out for the courts.

    April 21, 2018
    • I recommend you hire a family law attorney. Likely, she will respond to the request from an attorney. If not, you can always file a petition or motion with your court. Courts will order parents to share income documentation. (It may already be a court ordered requirement in your parenting plan.) Know that this situation happens alot. Miles Mason, Sr.

      April 08, 2019
  • Lynn

    What if my daughter is a senior this year and is 18 and will be graduating early (in December of this year)?

    August 20, 2018
    • Unless there is some other reason, graduation will likely end child support.

      January 12, 2019
  • Daniel Kimmins

    I was wondering how can a child support increase without a court hearing and my ex wife went to the main office to increase the child support without a court hearing. I called the child support office and they told me that they can increase it without a court date. I feel like that my ex wife is cheating the system and she also is refusing to let me see my two kids

    July 23, 2019
    • You need to hire an experienced family lawyer. The child support issue is common, but I would not trust anyone to be able to answer these questions without reviewing your existing paperwork, income, etc. Parental rights to visitation can be complicated and dependent on the particular facts, circumstances, and court orders already in existence. Miles Mason, Sr.

      September 21, 2019

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