In this write-up, we shall discuss the TN Child Support Calculator, How one can arrive at the estimated Child Support obligation at the time of giving child custody as per the order of the court of law in case of separation of the parents in the state of Tennessee, so the court can ensure that parents are contributing in monetary terms for their child’s wellbeing.

The estimated Child support obligation is arrived as per the Tennessee child support guidelines as amended in the year 2021 where step-by-step methods are detailed to find the Tennessee Child Support Calculator along with the reference of Tennessee Child Support worksheets. Let’s understand how to calculate it.

How does the Tennessee Child Support Calculator work?

A parent who spent lesser time with the child is under obligation to pay the child support to the parent who actually has the custody of the child; here the parent who spent a long time with the child or has the custody is called as “Primary Residential Parent” (PRP) and the Parent who spent less time with the child is called as “Alternative Residential Parent” (ARP).

The amount on which both parents agreed with the approval of the Court of Law to contribute financially for their child’s upbringing or maybe children’s as per the case but the amount of Child support cannot be lower than the limits prescribed under Tennessee child support guidelines also a Parent cannot deny contributing child support where he is under obligation to pay the same as per the Court’s order referring the worksheets provided under the support guidelines.

But there could be scenarios where both parents have equal spending hours with their child or children, as per the orders of the court, in such cases there may be no Child support payable yet there are very rare cases of this scenario, hence we use TN Child Support Calculator to determine the average child support

What is the Tennessee child support worksheet?

The Tennessee Child support worksheet is a document format used by the court to calculate each parent’s basic child support amount based upon their adjusted gross income. It contains all the resources of parent income for exclusions and inclusions to derive the support amount as per Tennessee Child Support Calculator.

How do they calculate Child Support in Tennessee?

The TN Child Support Calculator follows the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of average child support according to “Tennessee’s child support guidelines”. It is calculated based on the following factors while considering the latest amended guidelines as amended on 21st October 2021.

1.       Total amount of Gross total income of each parent which includes:

i)        Salary

ii)       Wages

iii)   Retirement Plan

iv)  Compensation

v)      Pensions

vi) Any alimony amount from Previous Marriage

vii) Gifts

viii) Social security Funds

ix)   Unemployment Benefit if any

x)      Capital Gains

2.      Gross Income is Subject to excluding the following items:

i)        Health Insurance of Child

ii)       If any income of Child

iii)   Public Assistance Benefits

iv)   Other Child Support Payment from Previous marriage

v)      Food Stamps

3.   Once the Adjusted Net income of each is derived, To Calculate Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) both incomes shall be combined and the Average percentage of income shall be assigned to each parent based upon the factors as mentioned in “Tennessee’s child support guidelines”.

How much is child support per child in TN?

For better understanding according to amended support guidelines 2021, let’s understand it with the following situation: “Each Parent is under obligation to contribute proportionate AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) here if, Mother of a Child has an income of $2400 and Father is having AGI of $5300 their combine AGI would be $7700

If they have 2 children the Basic child support obligation would be $2000 monthly for $7700 where Mother would be contributing 31% and Father would be under obligation to pay 69% so, the final amount derived would be:

Mother- $620

Father- $1380.

1.   In addition to the basic child support amount the other essential expenses of work-related child care, payment regarding any disability in a child will be proportionally divided between both the parents, then finally each parent’s time spent with a child is calculated to arrive at the Child support obligation paid by “Alternative Residential Parent” (ARP) to “Primary Residential Parent” (PRP), Here, recent amendment in Tennessee Child support worksheet 2020 the Term “Mother” and “Father” has been replaced with the Term “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” for considering same-sex parents.

2.     The worksheets provided under the guidelines assist the court to determine whether the committed amount is appropriate for the child’s well-being or not, Judged has the power to modify the obligatory amount if they find it inappropriate since these calculations are more complex when they involve calculation of parenting time between Alternative Residential Parent and Primary Residential Parent.

Note: Recently amended guidelines are subject to effectively applicable on all judgment delivered after 21st October 2021 or the cases ongoing, since it is in the court’s hands to consider any special circumstances that may vary from family to family.

What is the maximum amount of child support in Tennessee?

The Tennessee Child Support Calculator computes the amount of child support as per the number of children considering the percentage of the adjusted gross income of each parent which has a limit of Child support payment if the adjusted gross income of the parent is $10,000 or more on a monthly basis.

Before considering any kind of special circumstances, the TN Child support calculator must initially be determined as per Tennessee child support guidelines referring to the Tennessee child support worksheet for upper-limit of Child support amount.

The Tennessee child support worksheets provide the upper limit on maximum pay-out of child support as per Tennessee child support guidelines has provided the following figures to be contributed by the parents earning more than $10,000 as calculated after adjustments:

Number of ChildrenChild Support
One Child$2,100 monthly
Two Children$3,200 monthly
Three Children$4,100 monthly
Four Children$4,600 monthly
Five or more Children$5,000 monthly
Child support TN

The Tennessee Child Support worksheet can be challenged by the Primary Residential Parent if he/she is being able to prove in the court of law that the upper limit provided under the Tennessee child support guidelines is not sufficient for the welfare of the child.

Primary Residential Parents can establish multiple grounds to argue in the court of law for a justified amount of Child support which may vary from the Tennessee Child Support worksheet, for eg: Travelling abroad for studies.

Changes in the amount of Child Support Obligation

The court has the power to make changes in the obligatory amount determined as per the TN Child Support Calculator based upon the circumstances where the parent is no longer able to make full payment of child support or has an income hike where he/she is willing to contribute more for their children. Therefore court of law has the power to increase or decrease the amount of child obligation considering the unexpected life events.

To apply for modification in Child Support obligation there must be at least a 15% change in the amount of adjusted gross income of the parent as per the “Tennessee child support guidelines”.

In certain cases where the parent is under any criminal proceedings may also apply for the modification in the Child support payment amount which is considered as per TN Child Support Calculator.

Termination of Child Support Obligation in Tennessee

The Primary Residential Parent will receive the committed amount until the child completes his/her High school or at their graduation. Whatever comes later, it may stretch up to the age of 21 where the child has some disability.

If any arrear in past is due after Termination of payment of child support the Non- custodial parent is still under obligation to clear the dues even after the termination of the obligation period as per the court of law.

End Notes: The income shares model of the Tennessee child support calculator is based upon the criteria that in case of the sensitive matter of Separation or divorce the child should not bear the adverse consequences and must get the justified amount for their better livelihood as mentioned under support guidelines as amended in the year 2021.

Therefore, the model is based upon the factor to determine the Net income of each parent considering the justified amount accordingly spent with children by each parent, so children need not sacrifice for their well-being. The agenda is just to give a better life to the children of separated parents where TN child support calculator plays an important role to drive the average child support obligation.

By csannusharma

Annu Sharma is a qualified Company Secretary as well as a Certified CSR Professional and a Law graduate with rich experience of 4 years in secretarial, corporate legal affairs, management and corporate governance; in different industry sectors. Featured on Tax Guru.In, Compliance Calendar LLP and Blogger.com.