File a Demand Letter to Request Overdue Child Support Payment In TN
Suppose you are getting divorced (or live separately from your child’s other parent) in Tennessee. In that case, it's essential to understand TN child support guidelines to receive/pay the amount due every month. However, the procedures are difficult to read, given that they are full of dense legal jargon. The child support calculator is also full of acronyms such as BCSO (basic child support obligation), PCSO (presumptive child support obligation), and FCSO (final child support obligation), all of which you might not be able to understand.
So what do you do to make sure that you receive/pay the right amount in child support? And what if you've calculated the right amount but are unable to enforce payment? This is where DoNotPay can step in and help you to write a demand letter to collect any overdue payments. On the other hand, if you are trying to lower your child support payments due to a decrease in your salary or medical expenses, DoNotPay can help you do that.
What Are the Federal Child Support Guidelines?
When you look at chapter 1240-02-04 of the rules of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Child Support Services Division, you'll first see the federal child support guidelines. The custodial parent is referred to as the PRP (primary residential parent) and the non-custodial parent as the ARP (alternate residential parent). The federal guidelines suggest that the child support order should consider the following:
- The income of the ARP.
- How much the ARP needs to live on if their income is on the lower side.
- Many other factors include what assets the ARP has, where s/he lives, their employment history, job skills, education, age, health, criminal record, and anything else that may prevent them from earning.
- The overall job market and how likely it is that the ARP will find work.
Based on these, the child support obligation must be calculated. The child support order also needs to address how the child's health care needs will be taken care of. Incarceration is not considered voluntary unemployment in the case of the child support order.
When Are the Child Support Guidelines Applicable?
The federal and state child support guidelines come into play under the following circumstances:
- A couple gets divorced or separated.
- The father's paternity is established.
- When the child’s custody is in question, for any reason, even when the custody is given to the state because the child has been abused or has become a juvenile delinquent.
- There's a domestic violence situation, and one of the parents seeks an order of protection.
- Any other legal action which requires a consideration of these guidelines.
- When interstate enforcement becomes necessary because the parents live in different states.
Tennessee Child Support Guidelines: The Income Shares Model
Tennessee uses the income shares model to calculate the amount of child support each parent pays. The Federal guidelines only suggest that the non-custodial parent’s income must be considered when determining the child support they have to pay. However, Tennessee feels the income of both parents when coming up with a number for child support. Here's how the income shares model works:
- Calculating the BCSO: At the end of chapter 1240-02-06, there is a schedule that is more accessible tells you the BCSO or the basic child support obligation. This number is based on the combined income of the two parents and the number of children they have.
- Prorating the BCSO: The number in the schedule is the total BCSO which has to be divided between the two parents based on the income. So, for example, if one parent makes half of what the other one makes, that parent will have to give a third of the BCSO while the other will provide two-thirds.
- Considering the SSR: This number also feels the SSR or the self-support reserve set at 90% of the poverty line. This ensures that the parents have enough to live on while paying child support.
Worksheets Available to Calculate TN Child Support
Chapter 1240-02-04 also provides the child support worksheet, which is required to determine child support in each case.
- Adjusted gross income: The child support worksheet helps you to determine the adjusted gross income of the mother and father together.
- BCSO: Once you know the AGI, you can determine the BSCO using the schedule.
- Prorating the BCSO: The BCSO is then divided between the parents after considering how much time the child spends with each, how much each parent earns, and the SSR.
- Medical/additional expenses: After this, there is a section in which you can list medical/additional costs, after which you get the PCSO (presumptive child support obligation).
- Deviations: From this, you can subtract money based on "deviations," which you may think of as extenuating circumstances, but these deviations have to be proved to be legitimate.
- FCSO: Once you've gone through all these steps, you arrive at the FCSO or the final child support order.
How Does Tennessee Ensure Child Support Is Paid?
The child support program of the Tennessee department of human services can help you make sure that you receive the child support you are meant to get. Here are some of the services this program provides:
- It can help you locate the child's parent if you don't know where s/he is.
- It can help establish the child’s father (presumably through a DNA test).
- It can help determine how much child support you should get/give and make sure that you receive/share it.
- It can help determine how much medical support a child needs and ensure that the non-custodial parent pays it.
- It can collect child support from the non-custodial parent and give it to the custodial parent.
- If necessary, it can help modify the child support order due to a change in circumstances.
- If the non-custodial parent is supposed to pay spousal support and child support, then this program will ensure that both are paid.
Using DoNotPay to Collect Child Support Owed to You
As you can see, calculating child support in Tennessee can be arduous and enforcing a child support order even more so. If you are a custodial parent or PRP who has not received the child support amount which the non-custodial parent or ARP is supposed to send you, DoNotPay can help.
If you want to file a demand letter for late child support payments but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:
- Search child support on DoNotPay and enter the details of the person who owes the payments.
- Tell us more about the payment schedule, including the amount and frequency of the payments, the last payment they made, the number of missed payments, and how much they owe you in total.
- Confirm your contact information and select whether you want us to mail or email the letter on your behalf. Choose how you would like to receive the payment and verify your signature.
Using DoNotPay to Modify Your Child Support Obligation
If you are an ARP looking to modify the child support amount you need to pay without having to go through the entire child support guidelines (which can be hard to make sense of), DoNotPay can help you out.
How to lower child support debt using DoNotPay:
- Search child support on DoNotPay and select the state your child support agreement was established in.
- Answer a series of questions about your current financial situation and your one-time payments to help guide the application.
- Confirm your current contact information, and enter the location of the county court that established your child support agreement so that we can mail your request on your behalf.
Taking care of your child is a full-time job. On top of that, you don't need the stress of reading complex legal documents to calculate child support. Fortunately, DoNotPay is there to help make the process of calculating and collecting child support easier for you so you can focus on raising your child.
Aside from helping you calculate how much child support is owed to you, DoNotPay can help you answer questions related to child support such as:
- Is child support taxable
- How long does child support take
- What does child support cover
- Will you go to jail for not paying child support
- How to collect child support arrears
- How long child support is paid
Child Support Guides by State
Each state has different rules and regulations regarding child support, making the entire process confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, DoNotPay has child support guides for each state. Find yours below: