Father’s Bonuses Should Be Averaged in Tennessee Child Support Law

Tennessee child support law on income determination (bonuses and commissions) in Tennessee family law from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Burnett v. Burnett – Calculating Bonuses and Commissions for Tennessee Child Support Awards

The Father, David Mark Burnett, an account manager with Fedex, and the Mother, Analiza Palatones, were married in 1999.  The couple had three children.  In 2003, the Mother filed for divorce.  At the time of the first trial, the Mother, 36 years old, had a high school degree and worked part-time as a waitress and part-time with Northwest Airlines, escorting unaccompanied minors.  In these two jobs, over a two week period, the Mother earned approximately $200.  The Father was 45 years old at the time of the trial and had been working for Fedex for sixteen years.  His monthly net base salary was $4,829 plus quarterly bonuses, which changed significantly from year to year.  In 2005, Husband earned  a yearly salary plus bonuses totaling $120,213.38.   In 2006, the Father’s FedEx earnings statement through October 14, 2006 showed gross earnings of $111,812.80, consisting of base salary plus bonuses. The Father’s affidavit showed his bonuses for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 were $7,389, $20,810, $36,810, and $43,402, respectively. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

59 Yr Old TN Father Appeals Willful Underemployed + Private School Tuition

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

Kaplan v. Bugalla – Modify Tennessee Child Support + Private School Tuition

The parties in this case are Brendi Kaplan (“Mother”) and John A. Bugalla (“Father”). The parties were married for over 10 years and have 2 children.  At the time of divorce, Mother was an attorney making $87,000 per year and Father was an executive at Aon making between $279,000 and $350,000 per year. Father’s initial child support payment was set at $4,000 per month in May 2002. This payment did not include private school tuition as Mother planned on moving with children and enrolling them in public school. Mother’s plans to move did not work out and Mother sought an increase in child support to pay for the children’s private school education in September 2002.  In 2003, the trial court denied Mother’s request for private school tuition. Mother appealed the decision and was again denied the private school tuition. In 2005, Mother sought a grant of certiorari. The Supreme Court heard this case on October 5, 2005.  The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court, denying Mother’s request for private school tuition, and remanded it back to the trial court. Continue reading

To Modify Child Support in Tennessee, Court Must Follow Legal Process

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

Lana Walton Luster vs. Kenneth Walton – Process to Modify Child Support in Tennessee Law

In 1994, the Parties were divorced, using a “Marital Dissolution Agreement” that was incorporated into the decree of divorce.  The Father, Kenneth Walton, agreed to pay the Mother, Lana Walton Luster, the sum of $624.54/month for child support.

Beginning in 1996, a string of petitions was filed by the Parties, who primarily represented themselves, but, upon occasion, were represented by Counsel.  Court appearances were made until 1999.

Then, from 2006-2008, the Parties again filed various petitions against each other.  Chief among the allegations was the question of whether the Father’s child support obligation had been reduced to $411/month, either by a court order that was inadvertently not memorialized in writing, or by agreement of the Parties that should have been reduced to a written court order, or by virtue of the Father paying and the Mother accepting this amount for a period of time between 1997 and 2006. Continue reading