Caps on Income and Percentages in TN Child Support

Caps on Income & Maximum Percentages in Tennessee Child Support

Caps and Maximum Percentages in Child Support in Tennessee

Caps and Maximum Percentages in Child Support in Tennessee

In Tennessee, a parent who owes child support will generally find their child support “capped” based on income at around $180,000 per year or so.  That doesn’t mean additional expenses (or other “add-ons”) won’t increase the overall support obligation, though.  It just means the parent receiving support will be required to carry the burden of proving the children’s needs for support to be awarded above the capped income amount. If you are trying to figure out how these caps might apply to you, work through several different scenarios using the child support worksheets to determine exactly how they may apply given each parent’s income and the nights the children spend with each parent.  Also, talk with your lawyer about Tennessee case law and examples of parents having to pay more than the caps for expenses like educational travel for children of affluent parents.

The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines read, in part:

(g)       Statutory Limitation on the Child Support Obligation – Rebuttal and Deviation.

  1. When the presumptive child support order exceeds the amount found by multiplying a net income of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) by the percentages set out below, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-5-101(e)(1)(B), a PRP seeking support in excess of the amount provided by the applicable percentage must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that more than this amount is reasonably necessary to provide for the needs of the child. The percentages are:

(i) One child = Twenty-one percent (21%), [or two thousand one hundred dollars ($2100)];

(ii) Two children = Thirty-two percent (32%), [or three thousand two hundred dollars ($3200)];

(iii) Three children = Forty-one percent (41%), [or four thousand one hundred dollars ($4100)];

(iv) Four children = Forty-six percent (46%), [or four thousand six hundred dollars ($4600)]; and

(v) Five or more children = Fifty percent (50%), [or five thousand dollars ($5000)]

2. Application of Statutory Threshold to Child Support Determination.

(i) If the PCSO calculated under these rules exceeds the amount specified above for the number of children for whom support is being calculated, then the amount of the PCSO shall be limited to the amount specified above for the number of children for whom support is being calculated, absent the rebuttal provided for in part 1.

(ii) If the PRP proves the need for support in excess of the amount provided for in part 1, the tribunal shall add an appropriate amount to the PCSO of the ARP as a deviation.

(iii) The court may require that sums paid pursuant to this subparagraph be placed in an educational or other trust fund for the benefit of the child.

Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, August 2008.

For more information, visit Caps on Tennessee Child Support for Parent with Greater Than $10,000.00 Per Month Net Income.

Memphis divorce attorney, Miles Mason, Sr., JD, CPA, practices family law exclusively with the Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC with offices in Memphis serving clients in Collierville, Germantown, and throughout west Tennessee.  To learn more about Tennessee child support laws, read and view:


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