In Tennessee Child Support Law Deviations Must Be Explained In Writing

Child Support Award Twice Sent Back to the Trial Court for Recalculation – Under Tennessee Child Support Guidelines Any Deviation Must Contain Trial Court’s Reasoning

Anderton v. Anderton – Tennessee child support case law summary discussing the amount of child support determination and deviations.

In Tennessee Child Support Law Deviations Must Be Explained In Writing

In Tennessee Child Support Law Deviations Must Be Explained In Writing

Father appealed the child support award given by the trial court, arguing that it was too high and inconsistent with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines.  The Appeals court sent the case back to the trial court for further consideration, finding that the child support awarded was too low. Any deviation (upward or downward) from the Child Support Guidelines must be in a written finding by the court. Continue reading

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Private Agreement Between Parents For TN Child Support Not Enforceable

Tennessee child support law from the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Betty Berryhill vs. Charles Thomas Rhodes – Tennessee child support and private agreements not enforceable by paying parent

Questions arose in this case around notions of whether parents can enter into private agreements outside of the Tennessee “Child Support Guidelines.” The Supreme Court firmly ruled that once parents enter the court system, government statues and court precedents about child support will override private agreements found to be inadequate in supporting children.

The factual history of this case appears to have much impact upon the decision of the Supreme Court, as the decision was written with a pointed sympathy towards the Mother.

The story of the Parties began back in 1975 or 1976 when the Mother, Betty Berryhill, was a patient of the Father, a psychiatrist named Dr. Charles T. Rhodes.  A sexual relationship developed, and the Parties had one child, Anika, in 1977.  The Father paid the uninsured maternity expenses and started paying the Mother $200 per month.  Approximately 6 months later, the Father increased the payment to $300 per month.  Any requests by the Mother for an increase in child support were refused. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

TN Guidelines: Health Insurance, Medical Expenses & Child Care

Tennessee Child Support Guidelines: Health Insurance, Medical Expenses & Child Care

The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines sets the support amount owed.  The children’s health insurance premiums, uninsured medical expenses, and work-related child care costs (which should include after-school care) are added as separate components within the calculation and the amounts are individual to each family. This makes sense because there is no way to average these costs among families in Tennessee.  Plus, child care costs vary greatly among facilities, as any parent may attest.

If the alernative residential parent (ARP) is paying the health insurance premium, don’t forget to exclude that from the wage assignment to prevent double payment. But, any amounts paid by a step-parent are excluded from the calculation. Continue reading

Tennessee Child Support Covers What? by Germantown TN Divorce Attorney Miles Mason

Tennessee Child Support Covers What?

Tennessee Child Support Covers What?

This Tennessee child support article is for our divorce and family law clients and friends in Germantown, Collierville, and Memphis, Tennessee and the surrounding area.

The concept of what child support does cover, or should cover, is always a hot topic for debate.  What one parent sees as a bare necessity, the other may consider an unimaginable luxury.  Whether in a rural Northeast Tennessee county or in the heart of Germantown, Tennessee, what expenses child support is supposed to pay is the same because the law is the same even though the families may be quite different.  What it costs to raise children depends on the wealth of the parents and statistics of for Tennesseeans. Continue reading

Tennessee Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO)

Tennessee basic child support obligation (BCSO)

Tennessee basic child support obligation (BCSO) is a building block for understanding Tennessee child support calculations

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: Continue reading