Kids Are Expensive $!$
It is commonly said that one of the most expensive choices that can be made in life is having children. According to CBS News, the cost of raising a child from birth to age seventeen is approximately $310,000![i] In Tennessee the payment of child support is mandatory in cases where the child is born out of wedlock, where the parents are divorced, or where there is a domestic violence order of protection. The Tennessee child support guidelines may be found in Chapter 1240-02-04 of the Rules of the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Services Division. The Social Security Act located at 42 U.S.C. §§ 651-669 requires states to establish guidelines for setting and modifying child support. Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 36-5-101(e), 71-1-105(a)(15), and 71-1-132 implement these requirements and direct the Tennessee Department of Human Services to establish guidelines to enforce those provisions of federal law.
In general, a child support order is based on the alternate residential parent’s earnings, income, and other evidence of ability to pay. The Child Support Guidelines define important terms in 1240-02-04.02 including Adjusted Gross Income, Adjusted Support Obligation, Alternate Residential Parent, Days, Pro Rata, and uninsured medical expenses.