Child Support Laws in Tennessee | What to Know

man walking with child

If you would like to learn more about child support laws in Tennesee, it is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today to discuss the details of your case and your options. Our legal team is committed to ensuring you and your child have all that you need. Give us a call today and speak with a Memphis, Tennessee child support lawyer.

How does Tennessee define child support?

The state of Tennessee defines child support as one parent’s obligation to pay the other parent for the support and maintenance of their child, in response to a court ruling. While the definition of child support is clear, the application of the law to individual cases is not as straightforward.

The state’s child support guidelines are designed to provide for multiple different circumstances. No two families, just as no two children, are the same. Parental income changes, the number of children in the household differs, and the educational needs, special needs, medical, and healthcare needs of children vary. A parent’s disability might also require additional caregiver costs. While many aspects need deliberation, be aware that the judge has restricted discretion to stray away from the guidelines. Arguably, the more difficult the decision, the more fair the result because child support is tailored to a distinct family’s needs. Reach out to our firm today if you have additional questions about child support laws in Tennesee.

How does the child support process work in Tennessee?

Requesting a Tennessee parent to pay child support starts with the application of the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. But before child support calculations can be created, parents must complete Tennessee Child Support Worksheets disclosing all sources of income. With data from the child support worksheets, Tennessee attorneys and judges analyze both child support law and guidelines to designate how much money a parent should pay to support and maintain each child.

Can child support be modified?

Child support orders may be altered under Tennessee law, but only in restricted circumstances. When a Tennessee parent relocates the child to another state to be with a new spouse, for example, a change in child support may accompany the modified child custody orders permitting the move. If the amount of child support is inadequate, or excessive, or if the child’s situation has changed (for example needing mental health counseling), then either parent may ask the court to adjust the amount of support as needed. Keep in mind that child support cannot be modified retroactively. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a Memphis, Tennessee, family law attorney about the details of your case and your legal options.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Memphis or anywhere in Tennessee, contact Rice Law to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.