Child Support Lawyers in Clarksville Ensuring Your Children Are Provided For
Financial support is an important part of being a parent. You are responsible for providing a home for your child and taking care of all of the expenses that are involved in raising children. You have to pay for food, clothes, and other necessities, and all of this can get expensive. Once you are a single parent, it can be even harder to continue to provide for your children while making ends meet. Child support is an important part of the process of helping divorced or unmarried parents ensure that each party is meeting their financial obligations toward their children.
In an ideal world, even though the parents are no longer together, they would continue to collaborate when it comes to financially supporting the children, but this often doesn’t happen. This is why the courts make determined court-ordered child support part of the process when a divorce or custody case comes up. We understand that child support can be a confusing topic, and it’s hard to understand where the determination of the amount of support comes from and how to handle it if you can’t afford to pay. We’ve put together some information below to help make this clearer.
Ensuring you understand what your financial support obligations are can help you prepare for your future — and your children’s. At the law firm of Hibbeler & Associates, our team of child support attorneys can help you do just that. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our legal services.
Will I Have to Pay Child Support?
Whether you have to pay child support is a common question that comes up in divorce and custody disputes. The answer isn’t simple because it depends on the circumstances of your cases, but it’s a good idea to assume that child support will be involved unless there is a clear and compelling reason for it not to be. For example, if you and your former spouse make roughly the same amount of money and are using a 50/50 physical custody agreement, the courts may decide that there is no reason for one parent to be paying the other parent. However, if this isn’t the case, child support is likely to be ordered. In situations where there is a primary custodial parent, the noncustodial parent usually pays child support to the custodial parent.
How Are Child Support Payments Determined?
Child support payments are determined by the Tennessee child support guidelines. These guidelines give the family courts a basic formula to use when determining child support obligations. The formula takes into consideration the income of both parties as well as other financial factors. When all of the information is entered, the formula provides a number that determines what the child support obligations should be. However, the family courts recognize that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances, and it is possible to ask the courts to deviate from that number if you are able to back it up with evidence and reasoning that supports the best interests of the children.
How Long Do I Have to Pay Child Support?
In general, a child support order is to be paid until the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever happens last. However, the exact specifications depend on the order. In some cases, the custodial parent may receive support while the child is attending college if they are still living at home. It’s possible for the parents to agree to a longer timeline and have the family law courts add that to the order, but in general, the minimum amount of time child support is paid is until the child is 18 unless there is a modification that stops the order entirely because of financial changes.
How Are Child Support Orders Modified?
It’s common for child support needs to change as time passes. One of the parents may change jobs, lose or gain income, or have other circumstances that affect their financial health. To ask for a child support order to be modified outside of the child support guidelines, you will need to submit a petition to the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Program. The Department of Human Services will make an initial determination on whether the child support modification should be approved. If you disagree with its decision, you are able to escalate the case to a family law judge, who can decide whether to issue a judicial decision modifying the existing order. It’s important that you continue paying any child support while you are waiting for the modification request to be decided to avoid child support enforcement measures.
Start getting more information so you can move forward in your child support case when you call 931-236-2711 and speak to a child support lawyer. Our law firm takes pride in being able to help clients successfully navigate the child support rules and guidelines to protect their financial health. Call our law firm to schedule your initial consultation.