Regardless of the conduct of the spouses, the law views the children as innocent bystanders in a divorce and worthy of protection. As a result, the duty to pay child support is a continuous obligation that exists regardless of the marital status of the parents. The one purpose of child support is to keep the child at the same standard of living as that of the supporting parent.
In Tennessee, child support is based in large part on a formula taking into account the income of both parents. Where the parties share the children 50/50, adjustments in child support are made accordingly.
Tennessee Child Support Calculator
Tennessee Department of Human Services maintains a calculator to help figure the appropriate amount of child support that is due. It is not the final word because legal training is required to know when exceptions apply. It will, however, be a good starting point for you when considering what child support is appropriate.
While ideally the support of the children should come from the two parents, in some cases, the parent with primary residential custody may need to receive government support payments in order to support themselves or the children. In the case of a child whose custodial parent is receiving public assistance, the Department of Child Support Services in the county where the child resides may become involved with the collection of child support from the non-custodial parent. In these cases, any unpaid support can be assessed interest at an annual rate. For this reason, it is especially important that a non-custodial spouse not be ordered to pay unrealistic support payments.
Do I need a Tennessee child support lawyer?
When choosing a child support lawyer, it’s important to find one who has experience during all phases of support proceedings. If you are searching for a child support lawyer you will need to choose one that has successfully represented clients who have been contacted by the District Attorneys regarding arrearages. They have also represented parents in their efforts to collect support from former spouses who make no effort to financially contribute to their children’s welfare. You will also want to choose the lawyer that has proven success in having former spouses submit to vocational evaluation when they refuse to work, have their businesses appraised when they claim they are not making money, and have the court impute income to them when they refuse to work.