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Enforcing Child Support in Tennessee


The end of your marriage is a time of uncertainty for you and your children. That is why child support is so important to your future.

Unfortunately, parents sometimes ignore their responsibilities. In Tennessee, the state can help you collect child support.

Calculating child support

The state bases child support on guidelines that take into account the income of each parent. Calculations also weigh how much time each parent spends with the child.

Income is not only a parent’s regular paycheck. Some other sources include the following:

  • Commissions
  • Fees
  • Tips
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Pension and retirement plans
  • Social Security payments
  • Gifts
  • Prizes
  • Lottery winnings
  • Personal injury awards
  • Alimony from another marriage

Child support provides for basic needs: food, clothing, housing and health insurance. A judge also can order payments for education, health and extracurricular expenses.

Enforcing child support

Child support is essential to the quality of life of your children. Child Support Services Enforcement can take action when your ex-spouse defaults.

The state can go after the money in a direct manner. The state may seize bank accounts, as well as both federal and state tax refunds.

Other options are less direct, yet make life difficult for your former spouse. The state can place a lien on real or personal property or revoke his or her driver’s license. The state also can block your ex-partner from receiving a passport and report him or her to a credit bureau.

A parent who is behind in payments also faces possible jail time. The state recognizes putting someone behind bars means he or she is unable to earn money. This is a last resort.

Securing your child’s future

Child support can be a testy subject. Both parents have an obligation to the child. But they often have a difference of opinion on time commitments, finances, etc.

You and your child have rights. The state can help enforce your rights when it comes to financial matters. If state help is not enough, you may have other options. Being a single parent does not mean you are alone.