When the parents of a minor child do not live together, either as a result of a divorce or because they were never married to begin with, the State of Tennessee typically imposes a child support obligation on one of the parents. If you anticipate being that parent you are likely wondering “ How much child support do I have to pay in Tennessee? ”
In the past, child support orders varied wildly from one jurisdiction to another, and even among courts within the same jurisdiction. In an effort to put an end to the disparity among support orders, many states began enacting “child support guidelines.” Tennessee is one of those states. The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines set forth which factors are to be used when determining the amount of child support to be ordered as well as the formula used to arrive at the amount of child support.
When deciding how much child support is to be paid, the first consideration is how much income both parents have. Each parent is then assigned a percentage of the total income. For example, if you earn $6,000 per month and the child’s other parent earns $4,000 each month there would be a combined total of $10,000 available for the support of the minor child. You earn 60 percent of the total and the other parent earns 40 percent. Before any deductions or adjustments you would, therefore, be responsible for 60 percent of the child’s support each month. The guidelines also determine how much support is to be ordered given the combined income available for the support of the child. The amount found in the Child Support Schedule becomes the starting point for the final child support order. For instance, with a combined monthly income of $10,000 and one child the Child Support Schedule says $1,158 should be available to support the child. Your share of that would be $694.80 (1158 x 0.60).
Certain factors are then considered before arriving at a final amount. For example, if you pay the premiums for medical insurance for the child you would be given a “credit” for that when calculating child support. Likewise, you may be given a “credit” for the time your child actually spends with you. Conversely, if the other parent incurs child care expenses those expenses may also be factored in when determining child support.
If you anticipate paying child support in the near future in Tennessee it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Tennessee family law attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.