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"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."

- Garrison Keillor -

Child Support Calculations


Child support is calculated pursuant to the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet. The calculation begins with the designation of each parent as either the “primary residential parent” or the “alternative residential parent.” Primary residential parent is defined as the parent with whom the child resides more than fifty percent (50%) of the time. Your parenting plan is used to make the primary vs. alternative distinction.

Then, each parent’s monthly gross income, plus Federal benefits, less Self-employment tax paid and less any credits for in-home or not-in-home children is entered to determine each parent’s adjusted gross income. The sum of the parent’s adjusted gross income is then used to determine each parent’s percentage share of income.

The next step is to reference the Tennessee Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations table and the base child support obligation is allocated to each parent based on their percentage share of income.

Additional expenses are then allocated to each parent based on their percentage share of income. Examples of additional expenses include:

  • Children’s portion of health insurance premium.

  • Recurring uninsured medical expenses.

  • Work-related childcare.

If a child support modification is being requested, then it must be determine whether or not there is a sufficient variance in the resultant amount compared to the existing child support order to justify a modification.

It must then be determined if any deviations are appropriate. Examples of deviations include, but are not limited to:

  • Time-Related Travel Expenses.

  • Extreme Economic Hardship, such as extraordinary medical needs.

  • Increase from statutory threshold for high-income parents.

  • Extraordinary expenses accounted for, including expenses incurred prior to separation.

  • Extraordinary educational expenses, such as special needs or private schooling.

  • Special expenses for extracurricular activities, where the special expenses exceed seven percent (7%) of the monthly basic child support obligation.

A Final Child Support Order is then calculated based on the aforementioned considerations. Be advised, uncovered reasonable and necessary medical expenses is in addition to your child support amount and is typically split between parents pro rata in accordance with your respective incomes.

For more information concerning a child support calculations in Tennessee, contact us and schedule a consultation. We are here to help navigate you through the Tennessee child support calculations.

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