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Tennessee Child Support Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: My wife and I are filing an uncontested divorce. My question is, can we decide the child support payment?

Say the calculator says the payment would be 1200 a month and she only wants 500, will the court honor the 500 or will they make me pay the full amount

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 17, 2019

In my experience, the judges follow the guidelines ( appellate court decisions says the guidelines have the same effect as laws passed by the legislature). The Judges are under a statutory directive to insure the child support law is obeyed. The guidelines do permit deviations, but only for a very... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I live in tennessee and i owe back child support. i was told that as long as i sent 10$ a month id stay out of jail
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 16, 2019

More than likely, the Child Support Referee will incarcerate you. You are probably ordered to pay what an Order says, which is what you need to read and obey. If you know about arrearages, then you probably are aware of what you are supposed to do. There is no way $10 a month will keep you out... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: my childs father and I are not married. So paternity form will be filled out. Will he have to go get rights and pay

He thinks he gets out free and visits whenever. Is this true or does he have to go get rights and will they put him on child support.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 16, 2019

A child born to unmarried parents is, by statute, in the custody of the mother. To assert any parental rights, the father must file a paternity ( now called parentage) action, get DNA testing done to confirm paternity and have the Court/Judge establish the legal relationship. This means the father... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I am PRP. On the parenting plan and divorce, mother declined child support.

She filed for support again and declined. She is now taking me back to court for support. Can both declines be used in court?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 25, 2019

You can cross examine her on her previous declinations. But Income Shares will be very instructive to the Court, and will probably control about child support.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Lost my job, Childs Mother offered to put child on her insurance if I paid the difference. I was told an inaccurate

total. She waited two years in inform that me that I've underpaid. I will pay the corrected total going forward. Am I obliged to reimburse?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 19, 2019

If it was her mistake in telling you the wrong amount, I would say "No." It also sounds like the mistake should have been discovered much sooner, ( somebody was paying the bill or it was coming out as a deduction on a paycheck). However, to be 100% sure, all of the wording or your divorce decree... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I don't know how it works but I'm on my 4th dui. My 1st was when I was 16 and was charged underage. I haven't done jail
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 14, 2019

You are charged with a serious Felony. Hire a competent attorney immediately. You may be able to attack the earlier convictions, so that sentencing will not be a Felony. Obviously you need to get ready for a Preliminary Hearing and possibly later, Trial. If the State does not agree to a 2nd or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: if I father a child out of the country will the courts consider this to lower my current child support obligations?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 2, 2019

Only if there is a court order which requires you to support that child and if so, only to the extent you actually pay the court order child support.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: My daughter is pregnant and unmarried. She lives in Bradley County, Tennessee and he lives in Walker County, GA. He will

still be in high school when the baby is born. My daughter is in college. She will be living with my husband and I. We are stable and able to help her financially with the bab . My question is since he is still in high school would it be who of her to establish a custody agreement prior to the baby... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 14, 2019

In Tennessee, I do not think it's possible to establish "custody" of an unborn child. Think about that- who else can have custody of an unborn child? Additionally, Tennessee law no longer favors the use of the word "custody" - the preferred term is "primary residential parent." Once the child is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: If my child lives with me 6 months a yr and stays with her mom 6 months, do I still have to pay child support?
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 12, 2019

Maybe. Time spent with each parent is one of several factors that go into calculating child support.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: If my son's father is paying child support but there is no custody order at all, can I move from tennessee to florida?
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 12, 2019

It is possible. You must comply with the statutes regarding relocation including given the proper notice. See, e.g., TCA 36-6-108. You would be wise to consult with a local attorney first to make sure you do it correctly.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: In tennessee can a women sign as the father on a birth certificate when the child is born?

Will they get the "fathers" last name and rights to the child?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 7, 2019

Only the father can sign a V.A.P. ( voluntary acknowledgement of Paternity). If not signed by the father at the time of birth, the only way to established parentage for a child born out of wedlock is for either parent to file paternity proceedings and have DNA testing done.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I have court on sept 19 for child support modification

My ex who is the father of both of my children has asked for child support modification and and still owes a hefty amount for the past two years , we have no parenting plan in effect . What will likely happen when we go to court? Btw , he hasn’t worked and still don’t .

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 6, 2019

Without knowing more about the case it's hard to tell what would happen in court. Being in arrears never looks good. You would be wise to consult with a local attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I got someone pregnant but am married to someone else. She is in Tennessee and I am in Alabama.

She says she will sign away me having any responsibility for the child including child support for a sum of money. Can this be done?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 5, 2019

Not under Tennessee law. Parental rights can be terminated only if another man is willing to adopt the child.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: My husband lives out of state and stop sending money to pay for the kids tuition. Can he pay child support?

We are still married but live in different states. He agreed to send tuition money for their school but whenever he gets mad at me he stops sending the payments and it leaves me in an unexpected whole. He said I need to let a judge decide on the payment. I tried to work with him before going this... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 1, 2019

it sounds like you need a divorce as your relationship is not working. In a divorce, the judge will set child support for children under age 18 and if needed, and your husband is able, the Judge can also award alimony or spousal support. Consult an experienced divorce lawyer for specific advice on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: One child turns 18 and graduates in 2020, the other in 2022. Should the child support be cut in 1/2 in 2020?

I pay cs directly to my husband, not through the County or through wages.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 30, 2019

No, when the first child turns 18 or graduates ( whichever is last to occur), the child support will need to be re-figured again using the current gross income of both parents and any changes in the parenting plan. If the parties income and parenting time have not changes, the emancipation of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Child Support and Constitutional Law for Tennessee on
Q: If child support is funded by federal grants, how can DHS require repayment? isn't that fraud?
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jul 16, 2019

YOu might get more answers if you posted this under family law. But from a general standpoint- DHS would likely be authorized to carry out the program and to seek reimbursement of payments made.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Can you sue the DHS if they caused financial hardships due to negligence on their part?
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jul 16, 2019

It would be difficult to sue a government entity. You would likely need a lawyer as a result of the defenses to any such action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Federal Crimes for Tennessee on
Q: My daughter’s father and I have an established parenting plan. He comes and goes as he pleases and also does not pay

His child support. He also doesn’t have a place to live or a car. He was arrested for a felony drug charge recently. Is that enough to file a request to stop visits or ask for supervised visits?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 15, 2019

Those are certainly reasons to be concerned, but since your question doesn't mention the age of the child ( and lots of other factors the Judge has to consider) no lawyer can provide a guaranteed result. Will cutting off the child's relationship with her father truly benefit the child? If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: My children mother has tried to terminate child support . What steps can be taken to get that taken care of in tennessee

We tried to go to the child support office she wrote a letter and signed it turned it in to our case worker like we were told. Our case worked trying to say it can’t be done. I have had many friends do this. It’s preventing me from buying a house for my family. I have my kids 90% of the time... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 10, 2019

This si not something you can do without a lawyer- Child support is a requirement, it just can't be "dropped" - the Judges are required to make sure the child support law is followed. However, if you are keeping the children most of the time, the parenting plan can be changed to reflect that change... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Can back child support take 50% of my Social Security Disability each month?

My ex- wife lives in another state. I live in TN, and support was ordered through TN. All my children have been 18 for more than 8 years. My wife does not need the money. I had a series of 4 strokes, after having failing health for many years. I am now totally disabled. I need that income to use... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 9, 2019

Can they? Yes, they are currently doing it now. Should they? That seems questionable based on the fact that the children are well above the age where support should be required. Although you stated it is back child support so that may be different.

I would encourage you to call the child...
Read more »

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