Are You Divorcing Your Child’s Other Parent?

If you are divorcing your child’s other parent, if you’re involved in a dispute over child support, or if you expect a divorce or a child support dispute, schedule a consultation – at once – to discuss your child support rights and options with a .

In the state of Tennessee, every child – whether a child is born in or outside of a marriage or is adopted – has the absolute legal right to support from both parents. After parents divorce, each parent has an equal child support obligation. Tennessee has established guidelines and formulas that help judges calculate the amount of child support that should be paid.

The guidelines are based on the net disposable monthly income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the child or children. A will work for the child support you need or work to ensure that you pay no more than your fair share.

How Are Child Support Amounts Calculated?

When parents who divorce in this state cannot privately reach a compromise on a child support agreement, a Tennessee court will usually issue a child support order based on the state’s child support guidelines.

The court may require you to produce documents that provide details about your income, taxes, and deductions: paycheck stubs, tax returns, W2s or 1099s, and any other documents that provide information about your income and finances.

The court then considers the combined income of the parents. The basic child support obligation is equal to the parent’s percentage of the combined income. For instance, a parent who makes 45 percent of the combined income, in most cases, pays 45 percent of the total support for the child.

However, a parent’s share of the child support obligation may be adjusted by the court for a number of reasons including work-related childcare expenses, the child’s health insurance premium, and/or uninsured but recurring medical expenses.

What is Considered Income?

What is considered a parent’s “income” by a Tennessee court? When it determines a parent’s income, the court may include:

  1. self-employment income, salaries, wages, and severance pay
  2. overtime, commissions, tips, bonuses, and fees
  3. retirement plans and pensions
  4. net capital gains and trust, dividend, interest, and annuity income
  5. unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation benefits
  6. Social Security retirement or disability benefits
  7. prizes, lottery winnings, and gifts
  8. personal injury compensation awards and other civil judgments
  9. alimony from previous or subsequent spouses

Are Child Support Calculations Higher for Higher-Income Parents?

Affluent parents in Tennessee pay more child support because of the way child support is calculated. When both parents are high-earning individuals, the percentage of their combined income that goes to child support will be higher than the percentage for other income earners.

For instance, as of 2024, for parents in Tennessee with combined adjusted gross incomes exceeding $28,250 who have one child, the combined child support obligation is $2,231 plus 6.81 percent of all income in excess of $28,250. For parents with:

  1. two children, the obligation is $2,803 plus 7.22 percent of income over $28,250
  2. three children, the obligation is $2,954 plus 7.77 percent of income over $28,250
  3. four children, the obligation is $3,294 plus 8.05 percent of income over $28,250
  4. five or more, the obligation is $3,624 plus 8.66 percent of income over $28,250

When a Tennessee court determines a child support amount, it may also take into consideration the amount of time each parent spends with a child. If the parents spend equal time or split parenting, it may affect the amount of child support that is ordered.

When May a Child Support Order or Agreement Be Changed?

Everyone’s life changes over time. Even when the child support question has been settled by a private agreement or by a court order, any substantial later change in a child’s or a parent’s circumstances may require a modification of the private arrangement or the court order.

A parent who seeks to change a child support arrangement must prove to the court that changing circumstances have made the original arrangement impractical or outdated. A child support arrangement may be modified for reasons that include but aren’t limited to:

  1.  a parent’s pay raise, promotion, demotion, or unemployment
  2.  a child’s or parent’s serious illness or injury
  3.  a parent’s jail or prison sentence after a criminal conviction
  4.  the birth of a new child with a different partner
  5.  a change in the child’s childcare, educational, or medical needs

How Will a Child Support Attorney Help You?

A Kingston child support attorney will work to ensure that you receive or pay the appropriate amount of child support. If you need to modify a child support arrangement, a Kingston child support lawyer will prepare the legal paperwork and advocate in court for the modification.

If your ex has been ordered to pay child support and you’re not receiving those payments, your child support lawyer can ask the court to take enforcement action. If your ex seeks to modify your child support arrangement and you oppose any modification, speak to your lawyer at once.

If you need legal help with any child support dispute in or near the Kingston area, or if you believe the amount of child support you are currently paying or receiving is incorrect, do not hesitate to contact a Tennessee child support attorney immediately.

The Davis Law Firm Fights for Parents’ Rights

When the Davis Law Firm represents you in a divorce or a child support proceeding, Kingston attorney Tyler Davis guides you through each step of the process, protects your interests, and fights aggressively for you and your child or children.

Tyler Davis is an award-winning divorce and family law attorney who routinely prevails on behalf of his clients in child custody and child support cases. The Davis Law Firm provides legal advice and representation to parents and families in the Kingston area and throughout Tennessee.

Learn more about your rights in a divorce or a child support proceeding – or start the legal process now – by contacting the Davis Law Firm at 865-830-6286 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case and to put the Davis Law Firm to work for you.