Child Support Lawyer In Brentwood

How much child support will I need to pay? How will I be able to support the children? These are two of the most frequently asked questions that attorneys hear when a divorce commences involving children. Child Support is a periodic payment that is made by one parent to the other for the financial benefit and maintenance of a minor child or children. Child support is usually mandated as part of a marriage dissolution or annulment, but also may be provided for in the dissolution of a civil union. The individual receiving child support (the Primary Residential Parent or "obligee") typically plays a more custodial role in the life of the child, whereas the Alternate Residential Parent or "obligor" has less parenting time with the child.

Generally speaking, child support is determined by a court order. However, judges have limited discretion in deviating from a state's child support guidelines. The two most important variables used to calculate the amount of child support owed are the income of each parent and parenting time with the child.

Parental Income

Don't make the mistake of thinking that income includes only the amount listed on your income tax returns. The following are also sources that are included for calculating support obligations:

  • Any profit from the sale of capital investments or real estate
  • Business income that has been reinvested in the company and added to shareholder equity
  • Rental income
  • A judgment for damages awarded by a court
  • Unemployment payments
  • Income from investments
  • Retirement benefits
  • Alimony from a former marriage
  • Bonuses or tips, overtime, commissions, severance pay
  • Inheritances
  • Miscellaneous income — Gifts or winnings

Parenting Time

Child support payments can deviate according to the amount of time that the obligor spends with his/her child. This can create a financial incentive for the obligor to negotiate more parenting time with the child(ren). On the other hand, if the obligor spends little time with the child, he/she may be ordered to pay more child support.

Additional Factors

Other factors that might contribute to the determination of child support include, but are not limited to:

  • The number of biological or adopted children and their ages
  • Expected basic living and educational needs of the child(ren)
  • Health care needs of the child(ren)
  • Work-related child care
  • Extracurricular expenses
  • Special needs of the child(ren)
  • Health insurance premiums

Age Limit For Child Support In Tennessee

In Tennessee, the age of majority, after which child support is longer required, is 18. However, "[p]arents shall continue to be responsible for the support of each child for whom they are responsible after the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age if the child is in high school. The duty of support shall continue until the child graduates from high school or the class of which the child is a member when the child attains eighteen (18) years of age graduates, whichever occurs first." Tenn. Code Ann. 34-1-102.

Modifications And Penalties

The amount of child support to be provided may be altered if either the obligor or the obligee can prove to the court that a change of circumstance has occurred. Failure to pay court-ordered child support can result in criminal or civil repercussions.

If you are a parent with a child support issue and need a lawyer to be your representative in court, Cole Law Group is here to help. Call us at 615-490-6020 today.