The amount you pay or are paid in child support can last for a very long time. Thus, you should be aware of all the laws that surround child support and all the information regarding child support you might need to know. The Department of Human Services of Tennessee is available to educate you on the major points of child support.

Department of Human Services
Department of Human Services

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

The child’s primary caretaker is owed child support by the other parent. Even if there 50/50 child custody, child support may still be required. However, the amount of child support owed in a shared-custody situation can be less than if one parent has full physical custody.

How Can I Obtain Child Support?

You can go to either the court or the Tennessee Department of Human Services to petition for child support. If you are on public assistance, the child support case will be automatically referred to the Department of Human Services, or if you do not receive any assistance, you can pay $25 per year for their help in establishing and enforcing a child support order. You will be able to get your application for child support approved more quickly if you provide the other parent’s name, address, place of employment, and general information such as their date of birth, social security number or physical description.

What If I Do Not Pay Child Support?

There can be serious consequences for not paying child support. The first step the court will take is having amount taken directly from your paycheck. Tennessee can also revoke your hunting or driver’s license. Worst of all, you could be found in contempt of court, which can lead to jail time.

Can My Refusal to Pay Impact My Visitation Order?

Even if you are behind on child support, you still have a right to visitation with your child. Child support and visitation are two completely separate issues with different orders. If the other parent refuses to adhere to the visitation order, you can go to court to have it enforced.

How Can You Stop Paying Child Support?

There are legal ways to terminate child support. Before you stop making payments, you should be very careful and make sure you do so legally or you can face a lot of legal problems.

One way that you can stop payments is by proving that you are not the father. If you initially claimed paternity, you have 60 days to disestablish paternity. Even after 60 days, you can ask the court for a paternity test if you are not sure that you are the parent. Also, if your child becomes emancipated, you no longer have to pay child support. Lastly, if you lose your parental rights, you will no longer be responsible for child support.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

Child support is a complicated legal matter that can seriously impact you for many years. It is in your best interest, then, to talk to a Tennessee child support lawyer in order to assert your rights as a parent in a child support battle.