TN Father Sought Child Support Reduction Gets Increase $400 Per Month

Tennessee child support modification law in Tennessee family law from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Tennessee Father Who Sought Child Support Reduction Gets an Increase of about $400 Per Month Due to Large Cash Deposits into Father’s Bank Account Imputed as Income

Parris vs. Parris - Modifying Tennessee Child Support + Income Determination

The Father, Jerral D. Parris, was obligated by a 2003 decree of divorce to pay $1,250 per month in child support to the mother, Irina N. Parris, for the Parties’ two children. The decree included a “Permanent Parenting Plan.”

The Father filed a motion to request a downward modification of his child support obligation in 2005. A hearing was conducted in 2006, including testimony from six witnesses.

The Mother worked as a teacher’s assistant, earning gross wages of $715 per month, or, $8,266.56 per year. The Mother also supplemented her income by maintaining and renting six homes, taking in $100,004.52, less expenses of $16,354 in 2005. She also earned money helping prepare tax returns. The Mother provided her W2 and Form 1099 statements for 2005.

The Mother was originally from and was educated in the Ukraine. While the Mother’s education was to a graduate studies level, she was trying to take some U.S. college courses on-line because she lacked a teaching certification from an U.S. state.

The Father testified that he was a poet and also owner of a construction company, Harmony Industries. The Father claimed his income for 2004 and 2005, and for 2006 was “negative zero.” The April 2005 to April 2006 bank deposits into the Harmony Industries checking account was $237,692.76, which the Father claimed was spent.

The Father also owned rental properties. The Father testified that he had been sentenced to serve 210 days in jail for attempted extortion of Judge Larry Ross. The trial court found that of the checking account deposits of $191,109.87 to the Father’s business bank account were business income. Going through the receipts in evidence, the trial court found only $41,880.91 in business-related expenses, and noted that the Father used that business account for payment of his living expenses.

The trial court attributed a “net income” to the Father of $149,228.96, and computed his child support obligation to be $1,646 per month.

The trial court then found that the upward modification of child support would exceed fifteen percent, making it a “significant variance” between the original child support order and the proposed, current child support calculation. Making this finding, it ordered the upward modification of the Father’s child support. The findings of the trial court and its computations were unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

The appellate court affirmed the two-step technical approach of the trial court in first making a strict computation of the Father’s current child support obligation using his “net income” from self-employment activities, as defined in the Tennessee “Child Support Guidelines” found at Tennessee Comp. Rules & Regulations section 1240-02-04.03(4). It also affirmed the second step of calculating the difference between the original child support obligation and the current child support obligation to test whether there was a “significant variance” of at least fifteen percent as per Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-5-101(a)(1).

No. M2006-02068-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2007).

See original opinion for exact language.  Legal citations omitted.

Memphis divorce attorney, Miles Mason, Sr., JD, CPA, practices family law exclusively with the Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC. To learn more about Tennessee child support laws and guidelines, read and view:

A Memphis child support attorney from the Miles Mason Family Law Group can help you with Tennessee child support issues including setting or modifying child support. Contact an attorney today at (901) 683-1850.

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