Effective Child Support Attorney Serving Chattanooga and Hamilton County Clients
Under Tennessee state law, both parents are required to support their children financially, regardless of whether or not they are married.
The amount of financial support depends on the number of children, the combined income of both parents and the current child custody arrangement. Typically, the parent who cares for the child most of the time – the “custodial parent” – tends to receive the child support payments because Tennessee law assumes this parent spends money directly on the child, while the parent with less time – the “non-custodial parent” – makes the payments.
Calculating Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to Determine Child Support Payments
Estimating child support payments in Tennessee requires knowing the amount of each parent’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Your AGI can be calculated by simply adding all sources of income and subtracting any deductions that may apply. Sources of income include salaries/wages, tips and commissions, as well as pensions and individual retirement plans.
Residential Schedules & Parenting Plans Defined
Tennessee spouses engaged in divorce proceedings must also submit a permanent parenting plan — a written document outlining how each parent will care for their children. These plans must include a clearly defined set of parenting responsibilities, a solid residential schedule and funds allocated for alimony and/or child support.
A residential schedule defines when the children are in each parent’s physical custody and establishes a primary residential parent. The residential schedule also governs details such as where the children will reside on specific days of the year, including family birthdays, national holidays, vacations and/or other seasonal occasions.
Additionally, if you and your spouse have children and are seeking a divorce, Tennessee state law requires that you both attend a four-hour parenting class, in addition to submitting a parenting plan with the court, in order to be eligible for divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree on any detail regarding your parenting plan, the court may require you to seek mediation before hearing your case.
It is important to note that once a child support order is in place, a court may only modify it under certain circumstances, such as when a parent’s income has changed significantly (15 percent, in most cases). Keep in mind, however, that there are numerous reasons for which a child support modification may be necessary.
If you are in any way confused about Tennessee’s laws governing parenting plans, residential plans, child support and/or modifications, your best bet is to speak with an experienced Chattanooga child support attorney immediately.
Get Help With Your Tennessee Child Support Issue
Without the help of a qualified Tennessee child custody attorney, there’s no way to ensure that your child(ren) will be provided for after a divorce or separation. We have helped many families in Chattanooga and beyond resolve their child support issues and make sure that their child(ren) are financially taken care of by both parents regardless of the circumstances. Contact us now to get started and discuss the details of your unique case.
With 10 years of experience as a child custody lawyer, Mr. Fetters is well-equipped to help you obtain the outcome you deserve.