State of Tennessee Child Support Laws
- Learn the child support rules for Tennessee.Child image by Serenitie from Fotolia.com
In order to be fair and in the best interests of the child when parents separate or divorce, the state courts or the couple may decide how much child support is due to the custodial parent, and for how long a period of time. The state of Tennessee has set up a number of regulations involving the child support process, to determine how much should be paid, and to cover how that money is distributed.
Calculating Amount Due
- The basic child support amount in Tennessee is determined by calculating the adjusted gross income of both parents. After doing so, certain exemptions from the adjusted gross income are taken into account, such as the amount of health insurance premiums paid by the custodial parent for the child, and other expenses including educational or daycare expenses. After calculating these, the court will determine an appropriate child support amount.
- Child support is mandatory, and non-payment of child support is considered a criminal offense. Child support payment schedules may be arranged in various ways by the courts, sometimes weekly, biweekly or monthly, or the parents may be allowed to work out a schedule on their own for court approval.
- Child support amounts are revisited by the court if either parent takes a new job, loses a job or has some other change in income, so that the amounts can be adjusted.
- Tennessee law includes a provision called 50/50 parenting or "equal parenting." This means that each parent has exactly 182.5 days with the child per calendar year, according to the Child Support Worksheet which is calculated at the time of the court hearing. In Tennessee, equal parenting is considered to be the same as traditional parenting with both parents living in the same household, and so a couple that has worked out an equal parenting agreement may find that neither party is required to pay child support because they are sharing the duties between themselves.