Child support in Tennessee is based primarily on the income of the parents, the number of children who need support, and the number of days the children spend with each parent. Child support includes more than just food, shelter, clothing, and the fundamental necessities of life. In general, children are entitled to the same standard of living they enjoyed when their married parents or unwed parents were living together. This includes vacations, social activities, attending quality schools, and the pleasures of life.
Support is determined by the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. Our Nashville and Goodlettsville attorneys work to show all the income the other parent is earning. This includes more than just a salary or self-employment income. It also includes retirement benefits, workers' compensation pay, business income, and other forms of income.
Every child support case, whether the parents are married or unwed, begins by having each parent complete a standard income share worksheet. The amount of child support to be paid considers the following key factors:
Parents must pay child support until their child reaches the age of 18 or graduates with his/her high-school class. If the child has a physical or mental disability, the duty to pay child support may be extended for the rest of the child's life.
If a parent loses a job or gets a better-paying job, then the child support order can be modified to reflect the change in income earnings. Likewise, if a parent of a child becomes disabled, the availability of insurance changes, or daycare needs change - the support order can be modified. Changes in support orders are only allowed if the amount of income or the amount of the order will increase or decrease by 15% or more - to make sure parents aren't constantly running into court.
Our Middle Tennessee child support lawyers also work to enforce child support orders by filing contempt petitions against parents who aren't paying their child support order on time. If a parent is found in willful contempt of failure to pay the child support order, that parent can be sentenced to jail. There are two types of contempt:
The sooner you file for child support, the sooner you can begin to get the payments you need for your children. At The Law Office Of Tara Carter, our Middle Tennessee child support lawyers fight to identify each source of income your spouse earns, to verify the support order meets the Tennessee guidelines, and to enforce support orders that are not being paid.
To help you get the full amount of child support your children deserve, please phone us at (615) 495-6000 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We see clients from Lebanon, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville and nearby locations.