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When a couple with children divorces, one of the most important issues to be resolved is the matter of child support. Child support is the financial support that one parent pays to the other to help cover the expenses of raising a child.
At Bostick Law, we understand that the amount of child support can have a significant impact on both the child's and the parents' lives. That's why we are committed to helping our clients navigate the complexities of child support laws and guidelines.
You can reach out to our team online. We may be able to review your case and guide your next steps.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Tennessee?
Child support is typically calculated based on the income of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Other factors that may be taken into account include the child's educational and medical expenses and the parents' other financial obligations.
In some cases, parents may agree to a child support arrangement on their own. However, if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will make a determination based on the state's child support guidelines.
Who Is Responsible for Child Support in TN?
Tennessee law requires every parent of minor children to pay for child support. People commonly believe that only one parent is responsible for this cost. This is a false assumption. Courts use both parents’ incomes to make a support decision. The custodial parent pays for their children’s needs directly, and the other supplements these expenses.
Technically, child support payments go to the child, not the adult. If the receiving parent spends this money on themselves, they can suffer legal consequences.
When you are court ordered to make pay child support payments, you must follow this ruling. You must meet this obligation until the child reaches 18 years or when they graduate from high school, whichever occurs last.
Enforcing Child Support Orders
Unfortunately, some parents fail to pay their court-ordered child support. If this happens, the custodial parent may need to take legal action to enforce the order. Our firm has extensive experience in enforcing child support orders and can help ensure that your child receives the support they need.
Do I Have to Pay Back Child Support Payments I Missed?
In Tennessee, the non-custodial parent is required to pay back delinquent child support payments. The state does, however, provide a cap. If you filed a child support petition on or after July 1, 2017, then your back payments cannot exceed 5 years.
Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Am Not the Biological Father?
The short answer is: Yes, depending on the situation.
If you are married to the child’s mother, Tennessee assumes you are the legal father when:
- The child is born
- The child is conceived
- Any time during the 300 days before the birth
Under these conditions, the state assumes you are the legal father, and you may be required to pay child support.
When you are not the biological father, you may be able to avoid paying child support by filing a petition to disestablish paternity. You could also rescind a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity within 60 days if you are not married to the mother.
Modifying Child Support Orders
Sometimes, circumstances change, and the child support order needs to be modified. For example, if one parent loses their job or experiences a significant decrease in income, they may no longer be able to pay the same amount of child support. Alternatively, if the child's needs change or if one parent begins to spend more time with the child, the child support order may need to be modified.
Our attorneys can assist you in modifying a child support order to reflect the current situation and ensure that the child's best interests are protected.
Contact Us for Help with Child Support Matters
If you need assistance with a child support matter, our experienced attorneys are here to help. We can provide guidance and representation throughout the process, ensuring that your child's best interests are always at the forefront of our efforts.
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