Adequate Income Documentation Required Under Tenn. Child Support Laws

Tennessee law case summary on child support and documentation required for income determination under the Guidelines for Tennessee divorce and family law from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Jennifer Ferrari-Bullock v Justin Randall – Tennessee child support laws case summary.

Tennessee Child Support Laws Require Adequate Income Documentation

Tennessee Child Support Laws Require Adequate Income Documentation

Jennifer Bullock, Wife, and Justin Randall, Husband, married in 1992. The parties had four minor children. In September of 2009, the Wife filed for orders of protection on behalf of herself and the children against the Husband. The Wife, in the petition, checked a box that indicated she did not know of any pending actions concerning the custody of the children.

According to the report, the Husband restrained the Wife in the kitchen in February of 2009. This put the children and the Wife in fear. She noted that one of the children expressed fear about the Husband the following day. The court issued an ex parte order of protection as a result.

A hearing was held on September 30, 2009. It found the Husband committed abuse as described and provided custody of the children to the Wife. The Husband was given supervised visitation with them one day per week. The Husband also was required to pay $1,400 per week for the support of the children.

The Husband filed a motion in October of 2009 to set aside support. He claimed another court, the Circuit Court of Sumner County, jurisdiction over the child support claim when the protection order was entered. Wife filed a petition for divorce in Sumner County in May of 2009. In June of 2009, that court required the Husband to pay only $3,000 per month in temporary child support.

In August of 2009, the Sumner County court entered an order of dismissal in response to the Wife’s request. On September 18, 2009, the Wife filed a motion to set aside this dismissal. On the same day as the Davidson County order of protection hearing occurred, September 30, 2009, the Sumner County court set aside the order of voluntary dismissal. The Husband claimed that the order of protection should be set aside as a result.

In November of 2009, the Husband filed another motion in the Davidson County court to set aside the parenting time provision. The hearing on these issues was held in November 30, 2009 at the Wife’s request. The court denied the Husband’s motion to set aside child support. The Wife tried to transfer the divorce action to Davidson County in November. This was denied based on the court’s finding that Sumner County court was the proper venue for the action. On November 25, 2009, the Wife filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. On December 29, 2009, the court entered an agreed order voluntarily dismissing the Husband’s request for divorce.

In February of 2010, the Wife filed a motion to withdraw the Davidson County court action, which was granted.

In September of 2010, the Wife filed a motion in Davidson County to modify and extend the order of protection since the Husband told people that there is no order of protection. The court amended the order of protection including the same restrictions and support provisions and added that it would remain in place for ten years. The Husband filed a petition to modify this order. He stated that the Davidson County court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case since none of the parties lived in the county. In November of 2010, the Wife filed a petition for divorce in Milam County, Texas where she moved.

A hearing was held in May of 2011. It denied the Father’s motion. It stated child support was to remain at $1,400 per week. The Father appealed this in June of 2011.

The appeals court ruled on the child support in the original order of protection, which the Husband stated the Sumner County court lacked jurisdiction in. He stated that because divorce proceedings were pending in Texas, that the Texas court should have jurisdiction over child support in the long-term. The appeals court found no inherent conflict between the two.

However, the Husband’s argument that the court failed to follow child support guidelines in establishing child support was a concern. The award was based on one bank statement and the Wife’s claims. It found that the award, which was not based on required guidelines, was to be vacated and determined again in compliance with these guidelines.

No. M2011-01528-COA-R3-CV – Filed June 28, 2012.

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, read and view:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s