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How is Child Support Calculated in Tennessee?

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In Tennessee, child support is calculated based on the "Income Shares" model, which considers the income of both parents and the number of children requiring support. Here's a basic overview of the process:

1. Determine Gross Income: Both parents' gross incomes are calculated, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income.

2. Adjustments to Gross Income: Certain deductions are made from each parent's gross income, such as taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, and support for other children from a different relationship.

3. Calculate Combined Adjusted Gross Income: The adjusted gross incomes of both parents are added together to determine the combined adjusted gross income.

4. Consult Child Support Schedule: Tennessee provides a Child Support Schedule that correlates the combined adjusted gross income with the basic child support obligation for the number of children.

5. Allocate Support Obligation: The basic child support obligation is divided between the parents based on their respective percentages of the combined adjusted gross income.

6. Consider Additional Expenses: In addition to the basic support obligation, parents may also be required to contribute to additional expenses such as child care, health care, and extraordinary educational expenses.

7. Deviation from Guidelines: In certain circumstances, the court may deviate from the guidelines if it finds that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. Factors such as parenting time, special needs of the child, or substantial wealth of a parent may be considered.

It's important to note that child support calculations can vary based on individual circumstances, and there may be additional factors to consider in specific cases. Consulting with a family law attorney or utilizing Tennessee's child support calculator can provide more precise information tailored to your situation.

William Cain can help you navigate the child support process. Click below to request a free consultation.

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