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Tennessee Lawyer Helps Custodial Parents Obtain Child Support

Smyrna attorney works to insure that children have the resources they need

When parents divorce or separate, both remain responsible for providing for the care, education and other needs of their children. However, since the parents’ earning capacities may differ, it may be for one parent to pay child support. At Gasser Law PLLC in Smyrna, I work to negotiate and enforce fair child support arrangements based on the demonstrated needs of the children as well as each parent’s financial ability.

How is child support determined?

In Tennessee, child support is usually paid by the noncustodial (alternate residential) parent to the Department of Human Services, which then pays it to the custodial (primary residential) parent. Child support covers your child’s basic expenses, such as food, clothing, transportation and health insurance, but it can sometimes include special education, health and other needs. A presumptive amount of support is calculated in accordance with guidelines that take into account:

  • Each parent’s monthly income
  • The number of children for whom support is being calculated
  • The time that each parent spends with the children in question
  • Other children who live with each parent or for whom each parent provides financial support
  • A parent’s payments for the child’s health insurance premiums, recurring uninsured medical expenses and work-related child-care expenses

The actual amount of child support is awarded is affected by many factors. As a knowledgeable family law attorney, I can help you prepare the worksheets and other financial information required and make arguments helpful to the court in making its determination.

When can child support by modified?

A court can modify a support order if there has been a change of circumstances after a divorce, such as an unexpected life event that results in a significant variance in the amount needed. Examples are where child becomes disabled or where there is a change in the number of children for which the noncustodial parent is responsible. Depending on how the original support order was calculated, proving a significant variance may require showing at least a 15 percent difference between the amount of the proposed order and the existing order (or 7.5 percent if the parent seeking modification has an annual income of $10,400 or less).

Enforcing child support

When child support is not paid on time or in the amount ordered, it is said to be in arrears. If you need assistance enforcing a child support order and collecting arrears, you may seek the assistance of your local child support office, which can enforce compliance from the paying parent through a variety of options, including:

  • Garnishing wages
  • Seizing assets
  • Intercepting tax refunds
  • Denying passport applications
  • Revoking driver’s, professional and other licenses
  • Placing liens against the APR’s property

If those methods are not effective, you may need to seek the assistance of a court. In that case, it is best to retain a family law attorney to represent you.

How long does child support last?

Parents normally have the obligation to support children until they are 18 and have graduated with the high school class in which they are enrolled, whichever is later.  The obligation ceases if the child becomes emancipated by joining the military or by getting married.

Contact a knowledgeable and helpful child support attorney in Smyrna

If you are a parent who needs to obtain or modify a child support order, I have the family law experience to advise and represent you. Call Gasser Law PLLC at 615-267-0588 or contact me online to schedule your free initial consultation at my Smyrna office.