woman and child laughing

Tennessee Child Support Guidelines

Each state has its own laws governing child obligations. In Tennessee, child support is when the alternate residential parent (ARP) sends funds to the primary residential parent (PRP) to be spent on the child and their needs.

What Are Child Support Guidelines?

Tennessee’s child support guidelines are in place to help parents in a variety of circumstances. Every child support case is unique to the familial situations of the parties involved, and the state holds that each parent is equally responsible for a minor child’s care, welfare, education, and support.

Child support is required by law. Tennessee follows an income shares model, which means both parents’ earnings and accumulated income are included when calculating child support.

Accumulated income generally includes:

  • wages;
  • salaries;
  • commissions;
  • fees;
  • tips;
  • bonuses;
  • overtime payments;
  • severance;
  • pension or retirement plans;
  • trust, dividend, interest, and annuity;
  • net gains;
  • Social Security;
  • disability;
  • unemployment;
  • workers’ compensation;
  • unemployment insurance;
  • civil judgment awards;
  • gifts, prizes, or lottery winnings; and/or
  • alimony.

A child support attorney can help you determine your total income amount and how much you might owe in payments. The amount of time each parent spends with the child is also a factor in calculating child support. The parent who has the child the majority of the time is more likely to receive payments.

What Are Tennessee’s Child Support Statutes?

The Tennessee Legislature amends the child support guidelines about every 2 years. For this reason, the state has implemented specific statutes to standardize the guidelines.

These provisions are:

  • the guidelines are assumed to apply to all support cases, but can be rebutted if there is credible evidence;
  • child support can be paid from a parent’s property or income (including a retirement or pension account);
  • temporary support can be ordered when a lawsuit is still pending, even before a parenting plan is complete;
  • support payments can be made to the PRP directly, to a court clerk, or the central collection and disbursement unit;
  • the court can deviate from strict application of the guidelines if there is justifiable evidence;
  • if the ARP’s monthly income is over $10,000, the burden will shift to the PRP to prove additional support is necessary;
  • retroactive support can be awarded back to the date of birth, the date the parents divorced (or separated), or the date a modification action was filed;
  • if the ARP has other children, their ability to support them should be taken into consideration to justify a deviation from the guidelines;
  • if a payment is 30 days late, a summons could be issued from the court or a bond can be required to secure a minimum payment of $250;
  • support orders can be modified later if necessary;
  • either or both parents can be ordered to provide health insurance to cover the child; and
  • either or both parents can be ordered to carry life insurance and designate the child as a beneficiary.

Trusted Child Support Lawyers

It can be stressful to negotiate child support with a former partner. Our attorneys can take the stress out of the situation so you can focus on caring for your child. We will do everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for your family.

Call our firm today at (931) 240-2752 to schedule your free phone consultation.