Divorce is complicated. You deal with the pain and frustration of separating from your spouse, dividing property and finalizing the move. Emotions run even higher when there are children involved.

You want what is best for them, regardless of the circumstances. However, the situation becomes increasingly difficult when the other parent no longer financially contributes to raising their child.

What is child support?

Child support requires both parents to financially support their child. Under Tennessee law, both parents are equally responsible for the well-being of their minor child. This support must continue until the child is 18 years old, or graduates high school.

Typically, the non-custodial parent pays child support. However, both parents income is evaluated when determining child support payments. The main goal is to minimize any detrimental economic impact on the child that could occur in a single-parent household.

Tennessee uses child support worksheets to compile data from each parent’s income, number of parenting days per year, medical expenses and more. The result of that formula determines how much the non-custodial parent is required to pay the other.

You can apply for child support through the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

When do the payments start?

Child support is mandatory in Tennessee. It is possible to apply either before or after the divorce is finalized. You can check on your completed application using your child support case number. Once your application is processed, the child support program should ensure that you receive timely payments.

There is a possibility that your ex-spouse may refuse to make their payments. Therefore, the child support program will use enforcement tools to collect any past due support. If you are still unable to receive payments, the court may have to get involved.

If you have any questions or concerns about child support, you should seek legal guidance immediately. Financial stress negatively impacts you and your child, so it is essential to receive the support you deserve.