Child Support Guidelines Being Revised

Eric Harrison

Attorney

Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC

The week of May 15, 2020, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) planned to implement the first major revisions to the child support guidelines since 2005, and include the following notable revisions:

• Granting noncustodial parents the right to request a modification of their child support order if they are sentenced to or currently serving more than 180 days of incarceration.

• Allowing credit for health, vision and dental care paid by stepparents in the child support calculations.

• Creating a minimum child support order of $100 for noncustodial parents in some circumstances.

• Establishing a self-support reserve for noncustodial parents to ensure they have enough resources for basic needs while fulfilling their child support obligations. Under this change, child support orders in most cases would leave the noncustodial parent with at least $1,150 a month to live on.

• Allowing a person’s criminal record to be used to determine a parent’s income if there is no other evidence to use in child support calculations.

The final revised guidelines will be available soon on the TDHS website. There is an iPhone app (search “Child Support Calculator of TN” at the Apple store) to estimate potential child support orders under these new guidelines. To ensure these revised guidelines do not create an influx of new child support modification requests, TDHS is implementing a temporary requirement for case modifications that will remain in effect until November 10, 2020. Please call an attorney for specifics and to see if you qualify for a child support modification.