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How Is Child Support Calculated in Tennessee? April 17, 2019

8, Cumberland
How Is Child Support Calculated in Tennessee?, 8, Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, child support is calculated using the income shares model. This model considers both parents’ earnings and then estimates the noncustodial party’s financial obligations based on an established fee schedule. If you’re in the middle of a custody battle, here’s what you can expect when it comes time to determine child support.

Calculating Each Party’s Adjusted Gross Income

To apply the income shares model, you must first determine each party’s adjusted gross earnings. To do this, you combine all streams of income and then subtract applicable deductions. Income that should be counted includes wages, salaries, tips, commissions, pension payments, capital gains, Social Security benefits, and alimony received from prior spouses. Deductions, on the other hand, might include self-employment taxes and expenses associated with supporting children from other relationships. 

Determining Each Party’s Financial Obligation

child supportAfter determining each parent’s adjusted gross income, the court will add the two amounts together and then refer to the state’s guidelines to calculate the noncustodial parent’s obligations.

If the parents’ combined monthly income is $5,000, for example, and they share one child, the fee schedule indicates that their total financial obligation would be $823 per month. If each parent earns $2,500 per month, or 50% of the total earnings, that means each is also responsible for 50% of this obligation. Since the custodial parent most likely already spends at least that much on the child every month, the noncustodial parent would simply pay them $411.50 per month in child support. If the noncustodial parent earns 60% of the combined adjusted gross income, they would be responsible for paying 60% of the obligation, or $493.80. 


If you need help enforcing or modifying a child support order in Tennessee, turn to Kevin R. Bryant Attorney at Law. Practicing out of Crossville, this seasoned lawyer has been helping clients navigate complicated family law disputes for more than 16 years. He also assists with estate planning, civil litigation, criminal defense, and personal injury claims. To learn more about his full-service firm, visit the website, or call (931) 787-1004 to schedule a consultation. 

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