Learn more about the local child support agency and find the local child support agency in your county. It describes how to figure out what a parent should pay or expect to receive, as well as how to calculate other types of expenses. You will also find links to services that can help you and other types of resources. Each parent is equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of his or her child. But the court cannot enforce this obligation until it makes an order for support.
When parents separate, a parent must ask the court to make an order establishing parentage paternity and also ask the court to make an order for child support. Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18 or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and cannot support themselves. Either parent can ask the judge to make a child support order as part of one of these types of cases:. Either parent can later ask the judge to change the support amount if the situation changes.
Find out more about changing a child support order. Child support can also be ordered as part of a case filed by the local child support agency LCSA , which is the local government agency located in each county that provides services to establish parentage and establish and enforce child support orders. Here is how:. Find out more about the local child support agency and the Department of Child Support Services.
California has a statewide formula called a "guideline" for figuring out how much child support should be paid. If parents cannot agree on child support, the judge will decide the child support amount based on the guideline calculation. The guideline amount is presumed to be correct. The judge can only order something other than the guideline amount in very limited situations. To estimate how much child support the judge may order in your case, go to California Guideline Child Support Calculator.
To understand how to fill in the information in the Child Support Calculator, download the User Guide. The court may order support based in part on bonuses, commissions, overtime, and other supplemental or non-wage income if the court determines that this income occurs regularly. Certain income is NOT counted when determining a child support obligation. For example, the court cannot consider income from:. Figuring out "time-share" to calculate child support The court will calculate "time-share" how much time each parent spends with the children by comparing the amount of time that each parent has primary physical responsibility for the child.
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If you fall behind in child support payments, you must pay interest on the balance due on top of the amount you owe. Interest charges are added by law, and the judge cannot stop them. If you owe arrears past-due child support , it is possible that your court order or wage assignment garnishment if there is one, will include an amount over the monthly child support.
This amount goes to paying off your arrears, and it is often called a "liquidation amount. Not paying child support can have very serious consequences. If the court finds that someone has the ability to pay support but is willfully not paying it, the court can decide that the person ordered to pay support is "in contempt of court. This enforcement tool is generally used only when all others have failed. Depending on the situation, either parent might want to change the amount of child support that is paid. Changes in child support often make sense if either parent has had a significant change related to:.
This means that the child support amount could go either up or down. If you are not sure whether the change in circumstances will result in an increase or a decrease, you can ask the family law facilitator in your county to help calculate the estimates for you before you file papers to go to court. Get more information on changing a child support order and step-by-step instructions.
Usually, court-ordered child support ends when the child turns 18 years old if he or she graduates from high school.follow site
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If your year-old child is still a full-time high school student and still lives with a parent, child support ends when your child graduates or turns 19, whichever occurs first. Parents may agree to support a child longer. The court may also order that both parents continue to support a disabled adult child that cannot support himself or herself.
Federal and California laws require that every child support order include an order for "medical support. The family law facilitator can help you fill out and file these forms. California courts are required to order the amount of child support determined by the child support guideline unless the case fits 1 of the few legal exceptions to that rule.
Some decisions are memorandum opinions, designated as such because they have no binding legal affect but are often instructive. Lawyers and judges consult legal opinions for guidance, interpretation, and explanation. The devil is in the details, and these appellate opinions contain the important details on how alimony works in Tennessee.
Appellate courts often say that need and ability to pay are the two most important considerations. Expenses include housing costs, food, clothing, debts, and general living expenses. As with determining ability to pay alimony, the court looks at the financial situation of the supported spouse. Education, historical earnings, and ability to earn following retraining, or attaining some additional education or training, are considered.
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Second, the court considers the projected expenses of the supported spouse. The reasonable need of the supported spouse is his or her earning capacity less projected expenses.
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While this may be a very subjective determination, the evidence presented can be diverse. When projecting a range of how much a party will pay or receive in alimony, experienced attorneys consider the statutory factors, prior experience with the judge and the other attorney, and written legal opinions for couples in similar financial situations and lengths of marriage. Any projection is just an educated guess and should never be considered a guarantee. Prior to settlement negotiations, your experienced family law attorney will be able to advise you about a range of outcomes the court may award.
If settlement negotiations fail following mediation, then the case heads to trial. For legal opinions on Tennessee alimony exemplifying various lengths of marriages, see our Tennessee Family Law Blog and its Tennessee Alimony category.
You will find divorce case law summaries grouped by length of years married, as follows:. Tennessee law lists factors for consideration. Only a few states have strict formulas.
Tennessee does not. While Tennessee law does list factors, there is no strict formula or alimony calculator similar to the child support guidelines. That will depend upon the type of alimony, purpose of the award, and disparity in earning capacity between the spouses. For example, transitional alimony is designed to help a spouse transition from marriage to becoming self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony will be awarded if a spouse needs support, but is capable of earning enough money to live, first, at a standard of living close to that enjoyed during the marriage or, second, to the lifestyle projected to be enjoyed by the other spouse after divorce.
Long-term alimony is described as alimony in futuro, or periodic alimony.
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Before alimony in futuro is awarded, however, a court must determine that the supported spouse is incapable of being rehabilitated. As a practical matter, most divorces are settled. Which means that, in a vast majority of divorces, the type, length, and amount of alimony is negotiated. The negotiated amount may result from informal negotiations or mediation and is consensual. When a divorce case is not settled, the spouses will proceed to trial.
Post-2018 Alimony Modifications
At trial, the judge hears evidence based on all of the statutory factors and decides the type of alimony awarded, length of term of payments, and the amount. Usually, the judge will specify those circumstances upon which alimony may be modified or terminated. Usually, that analysis begins by looking at tax returns.