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Murfreesboro Family Law Attorney Guides You Through Tennessee’s Extensive Child Support Guidelines

Understanding child support responsibilities

Tennessee provides that parents are the “joint natural guardians of their minor children.” They are equally responsible for the child’s care, welfare, and education. This joint responsibility stays in place until the child reaches 18, or can extend until the child graduates or finishes a year in high school. Despite this joint responsibility, after divorce one of the parents generally has the obligation to pay the other parent for the support and maintenance of their child. A court order requiring child support names two parties: the primary residential parent (the parent receiving child support payments) and the alternate residential parent (the person paying). Trust our experienced Murfreesboro child support attorney, David L. Scott, to walk you through every step of the process.

How is child support calculated?

Determining the amount of child support payments is complicated under Tennessee law. In an attempt to make it simpler, all the factors, rules and calculations have been combined into one regulatory document, called the Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines are based on the income shares model, which factors in the earnings of both parents. The model assumes that “both parents contribute to the financial support of the child” proportionally to the income available to each parent. Starting with this foundation, comprehensive child support worksheets are completed to calculate child support obligations. The entire process requires attention to detail and legal savvy.

Although the Child Support Guidelines provide for a detailed calculation, the facts and circumstances of the child are different in every case. Here are some of the factors that go into the determination of child support obligations:

  • Income: gross income, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, dividends, benefits, and other sources.

  • Unemployment: if a parent has been willfully underemployed or unemployed, then that parent’s income available under the income shares model could be increased.

  • Parenting time: adjustments to child support obligations can be made depending on how much time a child spends with each parent. For example, the more time the alternate residential parent spends with the child, the lower the child support obligation is likely to be.

  • Child care: medical and educational costs, as well as activities enhancing the social or cultural development of the child.

With such heavy caseloads, judges today are busier than ever. Our family law attorney, David L. Scott, helps your case by working diligently to get the correct information before the judge in a concise and efficient manner.

Why are the Child Support Guidelines so complicated?

With eight major rules explained over 65 pages, it’s fair to question the complexity of the rules governing the calculation of child support obligations. However, the detailed guidance is necessary to make sure that the court gets the amount right. A correctly calculated child support obligation furthers Tennessee goals for the care of children after divorce. These goals include:

  • Reduce the number of children living in poverty with one parent

  • Encourage both parents to maintain contact with the child

  • Minimizing the economic impact on the child

  • Fair treatment for both parents and the child

Let our skilled Murfreesboro child support attorney help you today

Tennessee law is committed to ensuring the welfare of children after their parents divorce. To that end, the Child Support Guidelines assist the court in calculating fair child support obligations. If you are a divorcing parent, and feel you are either owed child support or will be required to pay child support, contact Murfreesboro child support lawyer David L. Scott today. He puts his experience to work to help you get the result you deserve—whether this be the child support payment you’re entitled to, or making sure that your child support payment is no more than required. Contact us at 615-896-7656, or online to take advantage of our free initial consultation.


 
 
 
 

 

 

2 Locations to Serve You

722 South Church Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Phone: 615-896-7656

Map and Directions

 

4322 Harding Pike #417
Nashville, TN 37205

Phone: 615-203-8062

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Based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, we are pleased to serve clients throughout Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville, Woodbury, McMinnville, Manchester, Shelbyville, Lebanon, Mount Juliet and other communities in Rutherford County, Williamson County, Cannon County, Bedford County, Davidson County, Wilson County and Coffee County.

 
     

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