In Tennessee, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their child. After a divorce, this requires one parent to pay the other parent for the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Typically, the non-custodial parent will pay the custodial parent child support to provide for their child’s basic expenses. Calculating child support can be confusing as many factors can affect the amount a non-custodial parent has to contribute in child support. If you are worried about the financial responsibility of child support, contact a knowledgeable Memphis Tennessee Child Support Lawyer who can help you understand your legal obligation in regards to child support after a divorce.
Do richer people have to pay more child support?
In a sense, richer people do have to pay more in child support due to how child support is calculated in Tennessee. In Tennessee, the court calculates child support by following Tennessee’s guidelines. The court looks at the following when determining a child support order:
- The combined income of both parents
- The number of children
- The amount of parenting time they spend with the children
- The child’s best interest
- And any other relevant factors
If each parent is a high-earning individual, their combined income will be a large number. This means that when it is put into a percentage it will be higher than the average parent would typically pay for a child support order. This means richer people do indeed pay more based on their combined gross income.
Can “parenting time” affect a child support order?
In Tennessee, when the court determines a child support order they will take parenting time into consideration. This means they will look at how much time each parent spends with the child. If each parent spends equal parenting time or they split parenting, meaning one parent is the custodial parent for one of the children, it could affect the amount of a child support order. Typically, due to Tennessee’s child support guidelines, they will have to adjust the calculations for this type of situation.
How long do parents have to pay?
In most states, non-custodial parents are required to provide child support until the child is 21 years old. However, in Tennessee, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18. However, there is an exception to this requirement. If the child is still in high school at the time they reach the age of 18, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support until they graduate from high school to stop paying child support. Additionally, parents may come to a mutual agreement on the financial support they are willing to offer to provide for the child’s basic needs. In some cases, non-custodial parents will pay for a portion of the child’s college expenses. However, legally, unless otherwise stipulated in a child support agreement, non-custodial parents are obligated to pay child support until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school.
If you need help reaching a fair child support order, contact one of our determined and skilled team members who can help you understand what factors will affect the percentage of child support the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay.