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How is Child Support Determined?

How is Child Support Determined?

When it comes to family law issues, some of the most challenging issues have to do with children. Parents often believe they know what is best for their children, but when those parents do not agree, finding a workable compromise can be extremely difficult. In most cases, the parents must turn to the court to seek legal assistance with their family law issue.

Whether you are going through a divorce, a separation, or working through modifications to an existing order, it can be extremely difficult to reach an agreement regarding any shared children. Child support, in particular, can be particularly challenging.

If one parent acts as the primary caretaker for the child, the court is likely to order the other parent to make financial payments to help with the child’s upbringing. As a rule, the court seeks to hold both parents responsible for the upbringing of the child, whether by hands-on methods or child support payments. In order to find out what to expect from your child support case, make sure you know what factors the court considers when making child support orders.

The Purpose of Child Support

As previously stated, child support payments are intended to provide for the child as he or she grows. If one parent has primary custody or the child lives with him or her, the other parent will likely be asked to make payments to the custodial parent on the child’s behalf. These payments typically continue until the child reaches 18 years of age or becomes emancipated. However, these payments can be adjusted by a modification, pending any drastic changes to either parent’s financial situation. Child support payments go towards any essentials for the child, including educational expenses, food, housing, toys, clothes, and so on.

Determining Child Support in Tennessee

Courts throughout the United States usually consider very similar factors when deciding on fair child support payments, though they often differ slightly. Whether you are seeking child support payments from your ex or are being asked to make payments, it is crucial for you to understand how the courts will decide on potential payments.

Tennessee courts will consider:

  • The cost of raising a child
  • Whether or not either parent has other child support obligations
  • The income of either parent
  • The earning capacity of either parent
  • Each parent’s ability to pay child support
  • The educational level of either parent

In some cases, the noncustodial parent might also be asked to pay for any additional needs of the child. This may include medical expenses, educational expenses, or special extracurricular activities, including sports teams and clubs.

If you are dealing with a child support issue, or wish to have an existing child support order modified, our firm can help. Whether you are going through a divorce or dealing with missing payments, our family law attorneys can help sort out your legal issue and take action on your behalf.

Contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC to speak with our Jackson lawyers about your family law case.