Child Support

Legal issues involving child support can arise in many different contexts for both married and unmarried parents. Amanda Thornton Attorney At Law offers legal advice and counsel on child support issues ranging from establishing child support in a divorce or paternity action to requesting modification or enforcement of an existing child support order. The law in Tennessee requires both parents to bear financial responsibility for their children. This is true whether the parents are married and then divorce, or whether they never marry in the first place.

Establish Paternity and Child Support

In situations involving unmarried parents, it is necessary to establish paternity before the court will issue child support orders or provide the father with rights to seek visitation or child custody. Amanda Thornton represents both mothers and fathers in paternity actions in Tennessee.

Child Support And Modification

The law is straightforward about how child support amounts are calculated. Tennessee’s child support guidelines calculate child support amounts based on the gross income of both parents. Then, deductions are made for items like medical insurance, day care costs and costs associated with other children.

While child support is established using the Tennessee child support guidelines, the initial child support order may not address the needs of the child during the entire duration of the child’s minority. Tennessee courts will consider a modification of child support if there has been a significant variance between the guidelines and the current support order. Either the recipient of the child support or the person paying the support may ask the court to modify (increase or decrease) the child support amount. Examples of situations in which modification may be appropriate include:

  • Job loss
  • Significant increase or decrease in either party’s income
  • Change in the co-parenting schedule
  • Special needs of the child
  • A child has reached the age of majority
  • Significant increase or decrease in the cost of work-related childcare
  • Significant increase or decrease in the cost of health insurance for the child

Child Support Enforcement

When a parent fails to pay child support that has been ordered by the court, it may be necessary to request that the court enforce the child support order. Child support enforcement could result in judgment liens, wage garnishments and other means to collect unpaid child support

Calculating child support is an important part of the divorce proceedings therefore obtaining experienced counsel is imperative during this process.  Amanda Thornton has many years of experience and a successful track record of negotiating and litigating these and a other family law issues with passion and competency that produces results.

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