child support

When parents separate, the emotional toll on the parents and children can be difficult, but there can also be a financial strain that should not affect the lives and well-being of the children. Tennessee has developed an income shares model of child support designed to provide sufficient support for the children of separated or divorced parents not living in the same household. Our family law attorneys help clients set and modify child support to create the best possible outcome for all parties involved.


Establishing Child Support

Both parents are legally obligated to provide support for their child or children. The child support obligation would begin at the birth of the child or on the date of separation of the parents if they were previously residing in the same household with the child. Although it may vary due to certain extenuating circumstances, generally, the child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever event happens later.

The court will establish a child support order according to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, which are the rules and laws that govern child support in Tennessee. The actual child support payment amount must be calculated using a worksheet created by the Department of Human Services. The worksheet takes into account many individualized factors.

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factors: setting child support under the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines

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Modifying Child Support

Child support can be modified when a change of circumstance leads to a significant variance between the originally ordered child support amount and a new child support amount. To determine if you are entitled to a child support modification, the court will compare the child support amount from the existing child support order to a new, presumptive, child support amount based on the new information. Court approval is required to modify child support.

Child support modifications cannot be retroactive. The earliest a child support modification can become effective is the date of filing the request, or the petition to modify child support, by the court.

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Enforcing Child Support Orders

Once a Judge’s order has set child support, there can be criminal consequences to an obligor parent who does not comply with his or her obligation to pay child support. Additionally, unpaid child support accrues interest at twelve percent (12%) per year, so getting behind on child support payments can become quite costly. Failure to pay child support can also lead to other consequences such as a revocation of your drivers’ license, denial of a passport, or seizure of your financial accounts or income tax refund.

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what to expect

At Collins Legal, we understand the seriousness of legal family matters. The stakes of a family law case are incredibly high and often involve matters such as the rights to your children, divorce terms, or whether or not a spouse will need to pay support. Our firm is dedicated to pursuing the best interests of our clients and their families. With over a decade of experience to back us, our family attorneys in Nashville can provide legal guidance through the duration of your case—from start to finish—and aggressively secure your rights to family, support, and assets.

Our firm recognizes that every family is different. When a client comes to us, we make the effort to learn each detail of the case and craft personalized legal strategies, ensuring the best possible outcome. We take pride in instilling confidence when clients put their case in our hands.

If your case did not end well or if your situation has changed since your case was handled, Collins Legal can also handle appeal or modification cases. Things happen in life and changes sometimes have to be made. Whether you need to modify your child support due to the loss of your job or you would like to appeal for visitation rights, our family law attorneys in Nashville have the know-how to help.


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