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What Factors Influence the Calculation of Child Support?

Daubenspeck Nov. 7, 2019

As a parent, one of your main concerns in a divorce is the protection of your children’s interests. You understand how important it is to provide a way for your children to have as much continuity of lifestyle as possible and support from both parents. One way to ensure this is to secure a fair child support order.

Whether you will receive support or you will be the one to make these payments, you have the right to seek an amount you believe is fair. Some parents are able to come to a reasonable agreement on this matter out of court, but sometimes, a family court decides how child support will work. Whether you’re heading to court or you’ll be negotiating on this issue on your own, it is beneficial to learn more about what factors influence the calculation of these payments.

Important Things to Consider 

Typically, child custody has an impact on how child support will work. For example, the parent who has primary custody will probably be the one who receives these payments. The intent of child support is to help the custodial parent manage expenses associated with raising children, such as childcare, medical needs and more. If the parents share relatively equal parenting time, it is still possible one parent may need to provide financial support to the other.

When looking at whether to award child support and how much the amount should be, a Tennessee family court will look at various factors pertaining to the parents’ financial situation and the children’s lifestyle. Even if you are negotiating this issue out of court, the following are important issues to consider: 

  • Regular needs of the kids, such as sports fees, school tuition, health care costs, clothing costs and more

  • Financial capabilities and income of the custodial parent

  • Ability of the paying parent to make payments while still meeting his or her own financial needs

  • Standard of living maintained by the child over the course of the marriage

No one knows your children and your family like you do. Before you agree to terms or you seek a specific outcome in court, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney about your case. While you want to protect the best interests of your children, you also want to take steps to protect your own financial security and rights as an active and loving parent.