Sobieski, Messer & Associates, PLLC
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Child Support

Family Law Attorneys Help You with Child Support in Knoxville, TN

Sorting through the financial responsibilities of divorced or separated parents

The law regarding child support in Tennessee changes frequently and sometimes dramatically. At one time, the income of the parent receiving support was not considered in the calculation of child support. The parent paying the support simply paid a fixed percentage of that parent's income.

Now, the law requires that the income of both parents be compared and each parent is assigned a percentage of financial responsibility in proportion to that parent's income or earning capacity. If a parent has no income or is voluntarily under-employed, income may be imputed to that parent.

How to calculate child support

There is now a worksheet for calculating child support. You can download the child support calculator as well as the regulations and instructions that help define the terms and provide guidance for special situations. Before you calculate child support, you will need the following information:

  • Names, dates of birth, and number of days each child will spend with each parent
  • Each parent's gross monthly income (earned and passive)
  • Whether there are other children in the home belonging to either of the parties, and if so, the children's names and dates of birth
  • Whether there are children in someone else's custody, but for whom one of the parties pays support. In that event, the amount of support actually paid must be known, not just the amount in the order. Proof will be required to show actual payments;
  • The amount each of the parties pays for health insurance solely for the children
  • Whether there are any recurring uninsured medical expenses for any of the children
  • Work-related childcare expenses and whether those expenses are payroll deducted
  • The amount of child support previously set in the case (if applicable), and whether it was based upon the old "fixed percentage" guidelines, or the new income share guidelines

The child support calculator also provides a space to input any amounts requested by either parent that would be a deviation (up or down) from the guideline amount, and the reason a deviation is requested. The court will only grant deviations in cases of verifiable need, such as private school expenses (where appropriate), special medical expenses, special education needs, some extracurricular activities and the like. In addition, either party can ask the court to increase or decrease the child support if a true hardship on the paying parent can be established.

Using the information described above, the child support amount can be calculated. The court can punish those who do not pay their child support by taking their licenses (driving, fishing etc.), intercepting their tax refunds, and even putting them in jail until they pay.

Knoxville lawyers guide you through the child support process

If there is a 15 percent or more change in income of either parent which would also result in a 15 percent or more change in the child support due (or other events such as a child reaching an age where child support is no longer mandated by law), either parent may petition the court to modify the child support order.

If the paying parent fails or refuses to pay the amount of child support ordered, a Petition for Contempt can be filed to force compliance. Recipients of support can get help from Child Support Services or can hire a private child custody attorney in Knoxville like the ones at Sobieski, Messer & Associates, PLLC.

If you receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) you will need to check with your social services worker to determine how much child support you can receive without affecting your AFDC payments.

Contact a knowledgeable Knoxville child support attorney today

The lawyers at Sobieski, Messer & Associates, PLLC handle child support cases in Knoxville, TN and the surrounding areas. Our office is located in Historic Downtown Knoxville, near Market Square and within walking distance of the state and federal courthouses. We have fixed hourly rates. Contact us online or call 865.223.5586 for more information.

Sobieski, Messer & Associates, PLLC
612 Gay Street, 5th Floor
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37902-1603 USA