Special Education Needs Can Require Private School Tuition in Tenn.

Special Education Needs Can Require Private School Tuition & Tennessee Mother Not Required to Consult with Father

Special Education Needs Can Require Private School Tuition & Tennessee Mother Not Required to Consult with Father

Special Education Needs Can Require Private School Tuition & Tennessee Mother Not Required to Consult with Father

Judi Richardson vs. George Kevin Spanos – Special Education and Private School Tuition in Tennessee Child Support Law

This case stands for the principle that a primary residential parent may unilaterally seek the special education services a child needs, including enrollment in a private school, and compel the other parent to provide the necessary financial support, which may be in addition to the standard child support obligation.

The child at the center of this case was an 11-year old boy named Lewis, who had special education needs.  His Father, Dr. George Kevin Spanos, was a physician, who had little to do with his son.  The Court of Appeals noted that at the time of trial, the Father had not visited Lewis for four years, and that their last visit was an hour spent at a bowling alley. Continue reading

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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

Requirements for Deviations from Tennessee Child Support Guidelines

Requirements for Deviations in Tennessee Child Support

Requirements for Deviation in Tennessee

Requirements for Deviation in Tennessee

Often, in child support disputes, one parent may believe child support is too high.  The other parent, however, may believe child support is too low.  In a few cases, both parents may actually agree that child support should be different from that amount determined by the Tennessee worksheet calculation. It’s technically possible for a Tennessee judge to award child support other than that amount calculated, but don’t count on it.  For a judge to award a different amount, the judge must determine a “deviation” to be in the best interest of the children.  In order for the deviation to have binding legal effect, the process doesn’t just end with putting the child support amount on the form and calling it a day.

The Guidelines require listing the specific reasons for the deviation and what the child support would have been without the deviation.  Unfortunately, this step sometimes gets overlooked by the parties’ lawyers and by judges.  Consequently, this can cause legal difficulties with a child support modification later.

If there is going to be a deviation, check the specific provisions and adhere to all of the requirements.  Here is one place you definitely want to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Continue reading

Travel Expenses for Long Distance Parenting in TN Child Support Law

Transportation Expenses for Long-Distance Parenting under Tennessee Child Support and Parenting Plan Law

Travel Expenses for Long Distance Parenting in Tennessee Child Support

Travel Expenses for Long Distance Parenting in Tennessee Child Support

If you travel to visit your children, you know how important travel logistics are.  What time is the exchange?  Where?  Gassing up is expensive.  Flying requires compliance with the unaccompanied minor policy.  And God forbid if someone is running late – how long are you required to wait on the other parent?  It’s all stressful.

Negotiating travel expenses (costs of transporting the children for visitation) seems to be one of those items parents wait until the last minute to think about.  But it can be very important and can be a large percentage of your monthly child support obligation.  Parents should know that negotiating travel expenses is very important.  Be armed with as much information as possible, especially with estimated costs of travel such as gasoline and typical airline ticket costs. Continue reading

Special Education Needs in Tennessee Child Support by Germantown Divorce Lawyer Miles Mason

Special Education Needs in Tennessee Child Support by Germantown Divorce Lawyer Miles Mason

In the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, exactly what is meant by “special needs education” could be more clearly defined.  Most judges are likely to interpret the provisions in a way that makes logical sense on a case by case basis.  For example, a child with autism, severe learning disabilities, or serious physical challenges will assuredly be deemed to have special education needs.  There may be closer judgment calls when a child has educational needs such as tutoring fees or medication related to diagnosed ADHD.  Continue reading