Memphis Tennessee Child Support Lawyer

What is child support?

The law will not permit a child to go unsupported. For this reason, once custody of a child is determined (the law now calls the custodial parent - the primary residential parent or "PRP," and the noncustodial parent - the alternate residential parent or "ARP") the noncustodial parent or "ARP" is required to pay support for the maintenance of the minor child.

The law in Tennessee has changed in recent years to track a growing national trend in calculating the child support obligation. The present law in Tennessee takes into accounts a number of factors in calculating child support, including the amount of time each parent spends with the child and the income levels of each parent.  This model is called the income shares model.  It is created to also take into consideration other children and child support order, health insurance costs, daycare or aftercare costs and reoccurring medical expenses.  In some cases, even private school tuition can be included.

Who owes child support?

Child support must be paid by the alternate residential parent. That person is determined by the parenting plan or court order. The alternate residential parent is what many people think of as the noncustodial parent, although the "custody" distinction has been abolished in Tennessee law (except for the Juvenile Courts). Even if you are not married to the other parent of the minor child, the law will still require that child support be paid for the maintenance of that child.  If you are married but separated, support can also be ordered with or without a pending divorce.

How is child support calculated?

Courts now rely upon a worksheet created by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. A link to that worksheet is located in the resource section of this website at

Can court ordered child support be modified?

The answer to that question is yes, but.... Child support orders can be modified upon a showing of a significant variance in the amount of the child support obligation that is owed. Some situations that can give rise to a significant variance include the alternate residential parent being legally obligated to support more children, or a 15% change in the amount of the support due to a change in incomes or other factors. Additionally, the need to provide for a child's healthcare can provide a significant variance, as well as putting the child in daycare or aftercare.

Modifications can happen as often as needed, so long as they are not abusive.

Attorney Misty Becker

Memphis Family Law Attorney, Misty Becker

Contact Misty Becker

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Becker Law Firm • 5100 Poplar Ave Ste 2606 • Memphis, TN 38137 • Phone: 901.881.6205
Becker Law Office of Memphis, Tennessee represents clients in the Metro Area and West Tennessee, including Cordova, Germantown, Collierville, Lakeland, Millington, Somerville, Covington, Paris, Nashville, Savannah, Jackson, Union City, Dyersburg, McKenzie and all communities of Shelby County, Fayette County and Tipton County.
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