Franklin Child Support Attorney
In a divorce, one parent typically pays child support to the custodial parent, or the parent who has primary custody of the child. Child support, as the name implies, is an obligation for a parent to give money to the other parent to support the child’s needs and expenses.
Each state has its own child support laws in place. However, Tennessee child support laws are not exactly clear cut. That’s because no two families are alike. There are factors to consider, such as the income of each parent, number of children, education needs, medical needs, and any other special needs that go into caring for the child. On top of this, the parent may have special needs as well, particularly if they have a disability.
While the judge cannot deviate too much from the guidelines, child support is, for the most part, tailored to a particular family’s needs.
Tennessee Child Support Laws
In every child support case, the parents have a legal obligation to support their child. There are two parties listed in the child support order: the Alternate Residential Parent (ARP) who pays child support and the Primary Residential Parent (PRP) who receives child support. Child support amounts are based on the income share models, which takes into account all sources of income from both parents.
Under Tennessee law, both parents are equally and jointly responsible for their child’s care, education and support. The duty to support the child continues until that child’s 18th birthday, or until the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
However, there are exceptions and special circumstances that may apply. For example, if the child has a severe physical or mental disability, a parent could be ordered to pay child support for a longer period of time or even permanently.
What Happens When You Don’t Pay Child Support?
Paying child support is the law. When you don’t pay it, it is considered contempt of court. The noncompliant parent will be sent a notice to appear in court. If they fail to do so, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
While jail is an option for those who refuse to pay child support, it’s not the best option because it keeps parents from earning money to support their child. Therefore, the courts will often resort to other forms of punishment first, including:
- Wage garnishment
- Seizure of assets
- Driver’s license suspension
- Interception of tax refunds
If you cannot afford to pay child support due to job loss or a medical condition, it is important that you contact a lawyer to request a modification. Do not simply stop paying child support.
Contact Us Today
Child support is a legal requirement in Tennessee and other states. However, not all parents make it a priority, making it hard for custodial parents to care for their children.
Seeking child support from the other parent? Need a modification? The law firm of Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help you with your child support case. Call our office at (615) 861-2304 and schedule a consultation today.