Child Support in Tennessee

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Lori Pace

Both parents are responsible for child support. Additionally, it does not matter if the parents are married. Both parents must support the child financially and with their daily living expenses. Tennessee has child support laws that reflect the fact that parents must take responsibility for their child’s care.

The Process For Child Support After Divorce in Tennessee

The Department of Human Services (DHS), Tennessee’s Department of Human Services, provides child support services. These services are open to all parents, regardless of their income. Children support services are automatically provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to parents who have received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits (TANF). Other parents who wish to apply for child support can complete an online application for services.

The parent applying for child support will need to give details about the applicant and the petitioner. These details include full name, address, phone number, cell phone numbers, relationship with the child, email address and social security number. The DHS offers several services, including the determination of paternity, the establishment of child support orders, modification of child support orders, and enforcement of child support orders. After paying $550 for the year, families that do not receive TANF benefits will have a $35 per annum fee.

Information about the other parent helps locate the parent. The state may use locator services to locate the parent if the address is invalid. The parent’s details will be in a national or state database.

After Locating The Noncustodial Parent

After locating the parent is located, they will receive a notice of child support. The next step is to prove paternity. This is legal identification of the father of the child. If the child was born to a mother who was still married, the husband is the legal father.

For unmarried parents, they can complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement Of Paternity (VAoP) before a notary public. They can also request a DNA testing if there is any doubt or dispute about the father of the child. If the DNA testing results are positive, the court can issue a warrant naming the man the father of the child. The DHS can establish child support orders after establishing paternity.

How To Receive Child Support in Tennessee

How To Receive Child Support In Tennessee

Tennessee’s custodial parents receive their first child support payments by mail. It is a physical check. The parent will receive a Tennessee Way2Go debit card after the initial payment. You must activate this card for future payments. The back of the debit cards has a number that parents should dial to activate the card. This MasterCard debit card provides parents with a secure and convenient way to get their child support entitlements. The parent can use the card to pay bills, make online purchases, and get cash back from banks and merchants. Parents can also check their balance and withdraw cash from ATMs. You can find further details and FAQs on the Tennessee Way2Go Card online.

The Maximum Amount That Your Family Can Receive

Pre-established guidelines are used to calculate Tennessee child support. They base these guidelines from IncomeShares model, which determines child support so that there is equal division of obligations. These guidelines take into account the gross income of both parents and the children’s healthcare needs. Find the complete child support guidelines online. The income shares model helps ensure that parents contribute equally to their child’s welfare as if they did marry. They calculate the support in a way that is affordable for both the custodial and noncustodial parents. An online calculator by the state helps for estimation purposes so the parents have an idea of how much the child support will be.

You can modify child support orders to reflect changes in financial circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in income, or the addition of a child that a parent has legal obligation for. For full details on the modification requirements and process, visit the Department of Human Services page.

Enforcement of Child Support in Tennessee

Enforcement Of Child Support In Tennessee

To ensure the best possible quality of life, they must enforce child support orders. There are many enforcement methods that the DHS can use to ensure compliance with child support orders. These actions are mostly administrative and don’t require court involvement. It is easy to apply these automatically once they meet a certain criteria. Enforcement actions may include denial of passport applications, suspension of licenses, and reporting to credit bureaus. This will lower your credit score. It also intercepts state and federal tax refunds. It intercepts lottery winnings. There are court action in extreme cases to enforce compliance. This could lead to the parent being imprisoned.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!