Tennessee uses the Income Shares Model in setting child support; this model takes into account both parent’s income and certain expenses. Additionally, two new words of art are introduced via the Income Shares Model: 1) the Alternative Residential Parent (ARP) who pays child support and 2) the Primary Residential Parent (PRP) who receives child support. Child support is set in accordance with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. From these extensive and tedious Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, child support worksheets have been developed to enter required information to calculate the correct amount of child support.
In Tennessee, child support is designed to cover the basic needs of the minor child, called the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO). BCSO includes the following expenses of the minor child:
The BCSO does not include the following variable expenses; however, these expenses are included in adjustments to the Basic Child Support Obligation:
Step 1: Calculate the BCSO. Determine the gross income of each parent. Gross income includes all income from any source (before taxes and other deductions), whether earned or unearned, and includes wages, salaries, commissions, and bonuses.
Step 2: Calculate the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of each parent by subtracting “credits” from the gross income of each parent. Credits reduce the amount of gross income that is used to calculate the Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO). Self-employment tax is credited on the initial page of the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet. There are additional credits that are made on page two (2) of the worksheet for other children in each parent’s home, and other children to whom child support payments are court-ordered and paid
Step 3: Add combined AGI of both parents and refer to Tennessee Child Support Schedule which gives the monthly total obligation or Basic Child Support Obligation both parents must provide.
Step 4: Divide BCSO by each parent’s Adjusted Gross Income to arrive at the Percentage of Income (PI); this is the pro rata share of BCSO each parent owes.
To give you a simple estimate of your Tennessee Child Support obligation, please try our free Online Child Support Calculator. This Tennessee Child Support Calculator allows you to estimate child support based on the information provided above.(Online Calculator) You may also download a Tennessee Child Support Calculator which contains all the variables discussed in the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines; however, it is suggested that you retain an attorney with extensive child support experience to correctly calculate the amount of child support required under the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines.
After reading this page and the 69 pages of Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, it does not take long to see that Tennessee Child Support Laws are extremely complicated and intricate. Turner Law Offices, P.C. has over 20 years of experience handling child support law cases in Nashville and surrounding counties. Call our office today or request a Free Child Support Consultation Online to meet with a Nashville child support attorney.