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
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.
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
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
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
and the many errors in that paper.