Both parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially. However, disputes often arise over which parent has to pay the other parent child support and the monthly amount of that child support payment. 

Calculating child support

Amount of Child Support Payments                   

Generally, child support depends on the number of children, the income of both parents, and the amount of time children spend with each parent.

Before you can determine child support, each parent’s adjusted gross income must be calculated. Adjusted gross income includes:

  • wages
  • salaries
  • tips
  • commissions
  • pensions
  • retirement plans
  • Social Security payments
  • unemployment
  • workers’ compensation benefits
  • alimony from previous marriages
  • gifts
  • capital gains

Adjusted gross income does not include other child support payments, public assistance benefits, or a child’s income.

Once each parent’s adjusted gross income is calculated, the two numbers should be combined to determine the basic child support obligation pursuant to Tennessee’s child support guidelines. After that, each parent is assigned a percentage of child support obligation that is the same as each parent’s percentage of the combined adjusted gross income.

After those calculations are made, each parent’s custodial parenting time is calculated to determine whether one parent must pay the other parent, and if so, the amount of monthly child support payments.

A Tennessee court doesn’t have to follow the guidelines if a parent proves that the guidelines result in an unjust child support award, or that a different arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

Child Support Changes

Child support may be changed periodically. Some reasons for changing or terminating child support include a child reaching adulthood, a significant change in a parent’s income, a parent’s disability, and the birth of another child.

Our Tennessee child support lawyers are here to help you if you are seeking child support for the first time, you are worried about paying more child support than you can afford, or you are seeking a change in your current child support agreement. Please contact us today to learn more.