In Tennessee, child support payments are based on Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. They use an income share model for determining how much the alternate residential parent (non-custodial parent) will pay to the primary residential parent, as his or her share of the child’s upkeep and support. Child support orders are based on how much income each parent makes, and how much time each parent spends with the child. If you are paying child support for a child from a previous relationship, and now you are getting a divorce and expect to pay child support for your younger child, here is how your payments might be affected in Tennessee.
Both parents are expected to make a financial contribution to their child’s life. There is an online child support calculator and worksheets that can give you an estimate of what the state of Tennessee expects that you might pay for child support given your current life circumstances. If the obligor (the parent who pays child support) already has a child support obligation for a child from a previous relationship, this might have an impact on how much he or she is expected to pay.
Some of the factors that child support payments are based on include:
- The pre-tax income of both parents. If one parent is unemployed, the court may “impute” income to them based on what they might earn at a minimum wage job working 40 hours per week.
- Childcare costs
- Health insurance costs for the child
- Amount of child support paid for other children
If you feel that you need to modify the amount of child support you are expected to pay, you must file a petition to modify your child support obligation. To qualify for a modification in child support payments, there is a 15% threshold you must satisfy. Unless your current obligation is 15% higher or lower after the recalculation, your request for a modification will be denied. Both parties will be required to submit an Affidavit of Income and Expenses to the child support office as a part of the modification process.
So yes, in some cases, the amount you already pay for child support may affect the amount you have to pay now. An experienced family law attorney from Shepherd & Long, PC would be glad to review your case and guide you through the child support modification process.
Going through a divorce can be even more challenging when there is a child’s needs to consider. Working with a skilled family law attorney from Shepherd & Long, PC in Maryville can help to ease your concerns and to inform your decisions. If you have questions about child support– let us help. You can reach us at 865-982-8060, or by filling out this contact form. We proudly represent clients throughout East Tennessee.