In all divorce cases, there is a presumption that not only will child support be ordered, but the amount paid should be in accordance with the statutory guidelines outlined in the Tennessee Statutes. Child support is ordered based on the income guidelines worksheet and varies depending on the income and amount of timesharing each parent has with the child or children.
In addition to the monthly child support payments ordered, the Parenting Plan will include which Parent will be providing the health insurance coverage for each child of the marriage or how the health insurance coverage will be paid for by each parent.
Sec. 154.122. APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES REBUTTABLY PRESUMED IN BEST INTEREST OF CHILD.
(a) The amount of a periodic child support payment established by the child support guidelines in effect in this state at the time of the hearing is presumed to be reasonable, and an order of support conforming to the guidelines is presumed to be in the best interest of the child.
b) A court may determine that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
1 child 20% of Obligor's Net Resources
2 children 25% of Obligor's Net Resources
3 children 30% of Obligor's Net Resources
4 children 35% of Obligor's Net Resources
5 children 40% of Obligor's Net Resources
6+ children Not less than the amount for 5 children
Sec. 154.001. SUPPORT OF CHILD. (a) The court may order either or both parents to support a child in the manner specified by the order:
(1) until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later;
(2) until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law;
(3) until the death of the child; or
(4) if the child is disabled as defined in this chapter, for an indefinite period.
(a-1) The court may order each person who is financially able and whose parental rights have been terminated with respect to a child in substitute care for whom the department has been appointed managing conservator to support the child in the manner specified by the order:
(1) until the earliest of:
(A) the child's adoption;
(B) the child's 18th birthday or graduation from high school, whichever occurs later;
(C) removal of the child's disabilities of minority by court order, marriage, or other operation of law; or
(D) the child's death; or
(2) if the child is disabled as defined in this chapter, for an indefinite period.
(b) The court may order either or both parents to make periodic payments for the support of a child in a proceeding in which the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services is named temporary managing conservator. In a proceeding in which the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services is named permanent managing conservator of a child whose parents' rights have not been terminated, the court shall order each parent that is financially able to make periodic payments for the support of the child.
(c) In a Title IV-D case, if neither parent has physical possession or conservatorship of the child, the court may render an order providing that a nonparent or agency having physical possession may receive, hold, or disburse child support payments for the benefit of the child.
(a) The court shall calculate net resources for the purpose of determining child support liability as provided by this section.
(b) Resources include:
(1) 100 percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
(2) interest, dividends, and royalty income;
(3) self-employment income;
(4) net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); and
(5) all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, unemployment benefits, disability and workers' compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony.
(c) Resources do not include:
(1) return of principal or capital;
(2) accounts receivable;
(3) benefits paid in accordance with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or another federal public assistance program; or
(4) payments for foster care of a child.
(d) The court shall deduct the following items from resources to determine the net resources available for child support:
(1) social security taxes;
(2) federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;
(3) state income tax;
(4) union dues;
(5) expenses for the cost of health insurance or cash medical support for the obligor's child ordered by the court under Section 154.182; and
6) if the obligor does not pay social security taxes, nondiscretionary retirement plan contributions.
(e) In calculating the amount of the deduction for health care coverage for a child under Subsection (d)(5), if the obligor has other minor dependents covered under the same health insurance plan, the court shall divide the total cost to the obligor for the insurance by the total number of minor dependents, including the child, covered under the plan.
(f) For purposes of Subsection (d)(6), a nondiscretionary retirement plan is a plan to which an employee is required to contribute as a condition of employment.
(a) The court shall consider the cost, accessibility, and quality of health insurance coverage available to the parties and shall give priority to health insurance coverage available through the employment of one of the parties if the coverage is available at a reasonable cost to the obligor.
(b) In determining the manner in which health care coverage for the child is to be ordered, the court shall render its order in accordance with the following priorities, unless a party shows good cause why a particular order would not be in the best interest of the child:
(1) if health insurance is available for the child through a parent's employment or membership in a union, trade association, or other organization at reasonable cost, the court shall order that parent to include the child in the parent's health insurance;
(2) if health insurance is not available for the child under Subdivision (1) but is available to a parent at reasonable cost from another source, including the program under Section 154.1826 to provide health insurance in Title IV-D cases, the court may order that parent to provide health insurance for the child; or
(3) if health insurance coverage is not available for the child under Subdivision (1) or (2), the court shall order the obligor to pay the obligee, in addition to any amount ordered under the guidelines for child support, an amount, not to exceed nine percent of the obligor's annual resources, as described by Section 154.062(b), as cash medical support for the child.
(b-1) If the parent ordered to provide health insurance under Subsection (b)(1) or (2) is the obligee, the court shall order the obligor to pay the obligee, as additional child support, an amount equal to the actual cost of health insurance for the child, but not to exceed a reasonable cost to the obligor. In calculating the actual cost of health insurance for the child, if the obligee has other minor dependents covered under the same health insurance plan, the court shall divide the total cost to the obligee for the insurance by the total number of minor dependents, including the child covered under the plan.
(b-2) If the court finds that neither parent has access to private health insurance at a reasonable cost to the obligor, the court shall order the parent awarded the exclusive right to designate the child's primary residence or, to the extent permitted by law, the other parent to apply immediately on behalf of the child for participation in a government medical assistance program or health plan. If the child participates in a government medical assistance program or health plan, the court shall order cash medical support under Subsection (b)(3).
(b-3) An order requiring the payment of cash medical support under Subsection (b)(3) must allow the obligor to discontinue payment of the cash medical support if:
(1) health insurance for the child becomes available to the obligor at a reasonable cost; and
(2) the obligor:
(A) enrolls the child in the insurance plan; and
(B) provides the obligee and, in a Title IV-D case, the Title IV-D agency, the information required under Section 154.185.
(c) In this section:
(1) "Accessibility" means the extent to which health insurance coverage for a child provides for the availability of medical care within a reasonable traveling distance and time from the child's primary residence, as determined by the court.
(2) "Reasonable cost" has the meaning assigned by Section 154.181(e).
(d) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767, Sec. 37, eff. June 19, 2009.
Sec. 154.183. MEDICAL SUPPORT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT DUTY OF OBLIGOR. (a) An amount that an obligor is ordered to pay as medical support for the child under this chapter, including the costs of health insurance coverage or cash medical support under Section 154.182:
(1) is in addition to the amount that the obligor is required to pay for child support under the guidelines for child support;
(2) is a child support obligation; and
(3) may be enforced by any means available for the enforcement of child support, including withholding from earnings under Chapter 158.
(b) If the court finds and states in the child support order that the obligee will maintain health insurance coverage for the child at the obligee's expense, the court shall increase the amount of child support to be paid by the obligor in an amount not exceeding the actual cost to the obligee for maintaining health insurance coverage, as provided under Section 154.182(b-1).
(c) As additional child support, the court shall allocate between the parties, according to their circumstances:
(1) the reasonable and necessary health care expenses, including vision and dental expenses, of the child that are not reimbursed by health insurance or are not otherwise covered by the amount of cash medical support ordered under Section 154.182(b)(3); and
(2) amounts paid by either party as deductibles or copayments in obtaining health care services for the child covered under a health insurance policy.
In a proceeding in which periodic payments of child support are ordered, modified, or enforced, the court or the Title IV-D agency shall order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor as provided by this chapter.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
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