Child Support Lawyers in Nashville, TN
Child support can become a complex issue for parents in divorce, post-divorce, and paternity issues. The emotions involved in familial restructuring post-separation often complicate the logistics. Disagreements about the adequacy of support, custody arrangements, and responsibility-sharing can escalate into legal disputes.
Moreover, parents’ financial situations can change with divorce and over time. Job loss, salary adjustments, and additional child-related expenses can necessitate a reassessment of support amounts. Compliance and enforcement of support orders, the pursuit of modifications, and varied interpretations of the laws by courts add layers of complexity.
Child support is not just about calculating a figure; it’s about aligning it with an often-changing reality that impacts the child’s welfare and each parent's financial circumstances. Flexer Law recognizes these challenges and is dedicated to navigating these complexities while prioritizing the child's needs and the equitable responsibilities of each parent.
Overview of Tennessee Child Support
The child's well-being is at the heart of child support, ensuring their financial needs are met regardless of the parents' relationship status. In Tennessee, both parents are legally obligated to support their children financially.
Child support is a payment made by one parent to the other to contribute to the various costs of raising a child, such as food, housing, education, medical care, and other necessities. Generally, the noncustodial parent provides this obligatory payment.
The “noncustodial” parent is the one who does not have primary living arrangements with the child. Even though this parent may have significant visitation rights or shared parenting time, the noncustodial parent is usually the one to pay support, as their residential time with the child is less than that of the “custodial” parent.
Consult a Nashville child support attorney about your case by contacting a team member online or calling (615) 805-6374.
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How Does Child Support Work in Tennessee?
Tennessee child support operates under the premise that children should continue to receive the same level of financial support they would have had their parents stayed together. This financial support is crucial in providing stability and meeting the child's needs. Payments are often made monthly and are intended to cover a portion of the child's living expenses.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
To calculate child support, Tennessee uses the Income Shares Model. This model approximates the amount that would have been spent on the children if the family were still intact.
The factors used in the formula include:
- Combined adjusted gross Income of both parents
- Number of days each parent spends with the child annually
- Additional expenses such as health insurance premiums, recurring uninsured medical costs, and work-related childcare costs
Each parent's share of the child support obligation corresponds to their percentage of combined income. The Department of Human Services provides a child support calculator to estimate potential child support payments. However, due to the complexity of the calculations and variations in individual circumstances, it is advisable to consult an attorney for a precise calculation.
Is Child Support Mandatory in Tennessee?
Child support is mandatory in Tennessee. Once a court has ordered child support, the paying parent is legally bound to make those payments. Failure to pay can result in enforcement actions, including income withholding, tax refund interception, liens on property, credit bureau submissions, license suspension, and even jail time.
Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in Tennessee?
Child support orders are not permanent and can be modified when a “significant variance” in circumstances occurs. To alter a child support order, you must demonstrate at least a 15% change in your gross income, a change in custody arrangements, or that the number of children you are obligated to support has increased.
Relocation to a distant city or out of state may also call for a change in child support, depending on various factors. These can include the child’s cost of living in the new location, changes in income for the relocated parent, or other considerations.
Modifications can either increase or decrease support amounts based on the current situation of the parents and child.