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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Using income to figure out child support

Misconceptions about how child support works often causes those who receive it to face unwanted scrutiny by the general public. In many cases, people assume that single mothers get too much money from child support payments. Tennessee residents might like to know more about how child support decisions are made.

When a couple cannot agree on a child support amount, a judge makes a decision instead. The amount a custodial parent receives is intended to make it possible for offspring to have a standard of living similar to what it would be like if both parents had remained married. This helps explain why high-profile support matters often result in a parent getting a large amount every month from a celebrity as the child would benefit from a successful person's wealth if both parties raised the child together.

There are flaws with child support matters as the parent with physical custody could technically do anything with the money the other parent pays. Additionally, states get money from the federal government when they collect fees through child support administration programs. However, the money does not have to be used for enforcing visitation orders or collecting payments as states can do what they wish with the extra revenue.

A formula is used when figuring out the amount one parent should pay. With the percentage model, about 25 percent of one's income might go to the custodial parent. With the income shares model, the income of both parents matters.

While courts might use a formula to get an idea of a reasonable child support amount for a given situation, the actual amount one ends up paying could change as judges can use their discretion for child support matters. It is also possible for the parents to negotiate their own agreement with the assistance of their respective family law attorneys.

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