People found guilty in some vehicular homicide cases could pay child support if new bill passes

Tennessee Captiol
Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 09:17:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A bill up for a vote in the Tennessee Senate Thursday would make people convicted in some vehicular homicide cases pay restitution, or essentially child support.

If someone is found guilty of vehicular homicide due to intoxication or aggravated vehicular homicide and the person they killed has a child, they would be financially responsible.

There are certain nuances to this, such as the payments would stop once the child turns 18. Also, if there is a civil suit and a judgment made before ordering these payments, the guilty party would not have to make the payments.

"If the surviving parent or guardian brings a civil suit and obtains a judgment after child maintenance payments have been ordered, then the child maintenance order will be offset by the amount of the judgment awarded in the civil action," the bill's summary said.

The court decides how much would need to be paid based on a number of factors. This includes what the child and the surviving guardian need financially and resource-wise. Also, the standard of living the kid is used to, among other things.

If the guilty party is put in prison the payments do not just go away. Once they are released, they have a year to start paying.

If the payments are set to end, but have not been fully paid, they still have to be paid.

The bill passed the House last month.