Child support in Tennessee is calculated using a formula based on both parents’ adjusted gross incomes. When calculating child support in Red Bank, it is important to ensure all sources of income are included in the formula, as well as all allowable credits or deductions. You will also need to know how many days per year you spend with the child, as parenting time plays a part in the Tennessee child support schedule. A well-practiced child support attorney could discuss all of these elements during an initial consultation.
The first step in calculating a parent’s child support obligation in Red Bank is determining their adjusted gross income (AGI). A parent’s adjusted gross income may look different when calculating child support than it does on a tax return. Income included in a parent’s AGI might include:
Some income does not count toward a parent’s AGI, such as food stamps, TANF benefits, SSI and SSDI benefits, and other state and federal benefits. A child’s income and child support received for children from another relationship do not count toward a parent’s AGI. A complete list of included and excluded income can be found in Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1240-02-04-.04.
Certain factors may reduce a parent’s AGI. Parents can get credit for supporting another child in their home (although not step-children) or paying support for other children who are not a part of the current proceeding. Self-employment tax is also deducted from a parent’s AGI.
Sometimes, the court cannot determine a parent’s income. This could be due to a parent’s intentional unemployment or underemployment; in other cases, it is due to a parent who refuses or cannot provide sufficient proof of their income to the court.
In these cases, the court will assign, or impute, this parent’s income. The process used to impute a parent’s income can be based on a parent’s employment history, earning capacity, or the average income of men and women in Tennessee that year. No matter which method of imputation the court uses, assigned income will be at least full-time minimum wage.
After both parents’ adjusted gross incomes are calculated (or imputed) and credits are applied, a Red Bank court determines the parent’s combined monthly child support obligation based on the Tennessee child support schedule, found in Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1240-02-04-.09.
The child support schedule assigns a dollar amount to the parent’s combined adjusted gross monthly income. The parents will each be assigned a percentage share of that monthly obligation, which is their basic support obligation. Once a basic support obligation is established, credits may be applied for parenting time with a child.
In Tennessee, the number of days a parent spends with their child affects the child support amount. If parents have equal time with their children and equal incomes, it could reduce child support to nothing. If the parents have equal time, but one parent makes significantly more than the other, the child support obligation would be reduced for the higher-earning parent, but not eliminated.
Whether you are receiving or paying support, it is essential to calculate child support correctly. Calculating child support in Red Bank is a complicated matter, but an experienced lawyer could help you determine your support obligation correctly.
Parents cannot get credits applied to past-due support obligations, so you should consult with a well-practiced and knowledgeable attorney who could help ensure you are not missing any credits or deductions you may be entitled to.