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Tennessee Child Support
Base Formula: Income Shares. (For explanation see Income Shares Model.)

Calculators for Presumptive Award
    [Links on this page are for information only. Guideline Economics does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of other’s on-line calculators.
Note: Presumptive amounts are awarded only if uncontested. For ideas on contesting a child support amount, see Presenting Your Case.]
  Tennessee Department of Human Services

Related Information
  Tennessee child support legislation
Explanation of the new child support formula.
Tennessee child support enforcement agency
Tennessee Bar Association
Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement

Citizens Groups
    [Links on this page are for information only. They do not necessarily constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any organization, group, or philosophy.]  
  DAD of Tennessee
Childs Best Interest
Children’s Rights Council (national)
American Coalition for Fathers and Children (national)

Articles and Analysis
  Tennessee Department of Human Services Admits No Parenting Time Built Into Child Support Cost Table
    June 24, 2005 — During the June 23, 2005 meeting of the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Guideline review panel on Parenting Time Adjustments members of the Tennessee Department of Human Services admitted that the state’s newly designed child support cost table has no built in parenting time adjustment. This conflicts with Tennessee’s guideline assertion that standard parenting time is built into the cost table. An Alternate Residential Parent’s (a non-custodial parent’s) credits for parenting time do not start until 121 days a year.
     The admission came in response to a question about the existence of what amount or percentage of the current TN Basic Child Support Obligation table is attributable to the Alternate Residential Parent’s time costs? A parenting time assumption is a legal presumption and should have a factual basis.
   The Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support review panel Subcommittee on Parenting Time Adjustments will be reviewing what corrections need to be made.
    The same members of the Tennessee Department of Human Services admitted that Tennessee’s old guidelines had no built in parenting time adjustment even though they, too, claimed standard parenting time was built in.

Rogers’ memo [PDF] on Tennessee’s Income Shares cost table and parenting time adjustments in the context of being adopted in Georgia.

Tennessee Changes Child Support Calculation
    The way child support is calculated in Tennessee will be very different starting January 18, 2005, thanks to the work of groups such as DAD of Tennessee, and economist R. Mark Rogers. While it still maximizes the amount of support out of reason, it is a move from Percentage of Obligor to a hybrid of Income Shares, which takes into account such things as the noncustodial parent’s parenting time, the custodial parent’s income with some concession to the real costs of children. It's not right yet, but a step in the right direction.
    See the news release [PDF] from the state’s Department of Human Services, or go to their site.
    View a PDF file of the new rules.

Background to Child Support Changes
    In 2003 the state began deliberations to make the changes cited above. The below documents give an overview of the need for reform and a more detailed explanation.

In July, 2004, the Tennessee Bar Association issued this brief [PDF], stating its opposition to the proposed changes to the state guideline. The Bar claims the proposals are “. . . in direct conflict with the stated purpose of the rule.”
    Here is Mr. Rogers’ response to the Bar [PDF] and the many errors in that paper.

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