One of the core concepts within the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines is the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO). This calculation forms the basis for the entire formula resulting in a child support amount owed. The “Assumptions and Methodology” make little sense to most (even a Memphis divorce attorney). It is possible that an experienced Tennessee family law attorney could spend a lifetime litigating child support matters and the assumptions and methodology described below may never come up in a single case. One never knows the following provisions from the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines describing the exact methodology, assumptions, and definitions including the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) may be helpful in some context:
(6) Assumptions and Methodology Used in the Income Shares Model.
(a) Determination of the Basic Child Support Obligation.
- The Income Shares Model incorporates a numerical schedule, designated in these Guidelines as the Child Support Schedule (CS Schedule or Schedule), found in Rule 1240-2-4-.09, that establishes the dollar amount of child support obligations corresponding to various levels of parents’ combined Adjusted Gross Income and the number of children for whom the child support order is being established or modified.
- The Schedule is used to determine the basic child support obligation (BCSO), according to the rules in this chapter.
- Each parent’s share of the BCSO is determined by prorating the child support, obligation between the parents in the same ratios as each parent’s individual Adjusted Gross Income is to the combined Adjusted Gross Income.
- The minimum BCSO upon which a child support obligation may be established is one hundred dollars ($100) per month. The tribunal may deviate below this minimum BCSO in appropriate situations. See Rule 1240-2-4-.07(2)(f)6.
- If custody or guardianship of a child is awarded to a person or entity other than a parent of the child as defined in 1240-2-4-.02(15), the child support obligation shall be calculated on the Worksheet according to the rules for standard parenting, and each parent will be responsible for paying his/her share of the final obligation to the non-parent caretaker of the child. If only one parent is available, then that parent’s income alone is considered in establishing the child support award. The income of a non-parent caretaker is not considered. If the tribunal is able to order both parents to pay support for the children, the tribunal shall assign each parent a pro rata share of the additional expenses.
Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, August 2008.
Memphis divorce attorney, Miles Mason, Sr., JD, CPA, practices family law exclusively with the Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC in Memphis, Tennessee serving clients in Germantown, Collierville and the west Tennessee area. To learn more about Tennessee child support laws, read and view:
- Tennessee Child Support & Divorce Law Answers to FAQs
- How to Modify Child Support in Tennessee
- Tennessee Child Support Law Video Series
- Tennessee Child Support Resources
- Top 6 Tennessee Child Support Strategies