Understanding Child Support Calculations in Tennessee

Tennessee courts no longer calculate child support rates by using a percentage of a parent’s income. Instead, child support is determined based on a number of factors, which may make the calculation quite complicated.

The state of Tennessee provides an automated calculation system for your guidance, taking into account the following considerations:

Days spent with parents: The calculator first takes the number of days each child is to spend with each parent to determine the cost each parent assumes as a provider on a day-to-day basis. This amount of time also helps determine which parent will claim the child as a federal tax deduction, regardless of which parent pays the child support.
Incomes: The income of each parent is added together, and the calculation then determines a percentage of the combined income to use to provide support like food, clothing and other essentials. The percentage may vary depending on the income level of each parent and the number of children.
Amounts paid: The calculator takes any amounts paid for the support of other children, amounts paid for childcare, amounts paid for insurance and other extra costs into consideration. Expenses like health insurance and work-necessitated childcare are not covered by child support and have to be factored into the equation beforehand.

The calculator then divides the amount of child support between the parents, using the number of days the children will spend with each parent to determine which parent will pay the child support and which parent will receive it.

Child support is intended to pay for expenses like food, housing, clothing, transportation, entertainment and educational fees, textbooks and field trips. It should not cover extra expenses, however, like extracurricular activities, art or music lessons, travel or summer camp. It also does not cover expenses related to special education or private school.

To learn more about child support and how you can protect the best interests of you and your children, speak with a trusted divorce lawyer in Knoxville.