Child support is the most controversial topic that parents fight over after divorce. Tennessee has “Child Support Guidelines” that courts should utilize to determine how much child support the parent without custody needs to pay weekly.
You can find out the amount of child support you must get with the help of Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. To fill in this worksheet, however, you will need info from the other parent’s financial statement. Since the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet has a built-in calculator you could use it to estimate how much child support the court may order. In some extraordinary circumstances, it could be a different amount.
Usually, the minimal amount of child support paid by another parent and determined by the judge is $80.00/ month. On the other hand, if a non-custodial parent has insufficient means, s/he can be discharged by the court from paying child support at all. But it doesn’t mean that one can simply quit the job not to pay. In case when another parent is unemployed, the court could order him/her to do job searches and to report his task search initiatives to the court.
Child Support: What If The Parent Has Other Children?
If the parent of your child has other children, you might get less amount of child support. Under the Child Support Guidelines, the court has to take into consideration the amount of child support the parent pays under an additional child support order before making a decision the amount of support for your child.
To find out just how this will influence your child support, you should understand how much the parent pays in support for the other children. Subtract that amount from the parent’s income before taxes. Use that number for the parent’s earnings when you use the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to find out how much support s/he has to spend for your child.
For example, the other parent earns $200/week before taxes, and pays $50/week in support for another child. Deduct $50 from $200, and you get $150. This will be the amount to fill in the line for the parent’s weekly income when you use the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to figure out how much support s/he must pay for your child.
Can I change my child support order to get more?
You could be able to get more child support if your “financial circumstances” have actually altered a lot from the moment of the last order. Some examples of changes that make a difference are:
- the other parent’s income goes up by at least 20%;
- your oldest child turns thirteen;
- you made at least $20,000 when you got the order and also now you make less; or
- one of your children was not living with you but has actually now moved back.
The actions to find out if the changes are sufficient to get your child support order changed are:
- Check the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
- Fill out the new information.
- Divide the answer you get on the Worksheet or online calculator by the amount of child support you get now.
- If the answer is 1.2 or more, you might be able to obtain a new order.
You will certainly have to submit a Complaint for Modification to request for a new child support order.
Another important step is to pass a complaint on the other parent with the help of a sheriff or constable and include summons (a document that informs the other parent that the court is going to hold a hearing. At the hearing, the court could make a new order.). If your income is low, submit an Affidavit of Indigency form to ask the state to pay the constable’s fee.
As you can see, modifying the child support is a quite complicated process which requires collecting a lot of relevant information and documents. To avoid any mess with the paperwork or confusion, it is highly recommended to get in touch with a Chattanooga family law attorney. Whether you need a child custody attorney, a divorce lawyer, are trying to prove paternity and collect child support, or are unsure exactly what all might be involved with the impending dissolution of your marriage, your Chattanooga family law attorney at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC will protect your rights, help you pursue what is just, and ensure that your best interests are always at the fore of all proceedings.
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