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Tennessee adds new guidelines in child support program

Capitol View
Posted at 12:50 PM, May 11, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Human Services added new guidelines to its child support program, the first major changes to the rules since 2005.

TDHS said the revisions were made to help "align all child support orders with changing family economics" and to meet new federal requirements.

The newly announced guidelines include:

  • Granting noncustodial parents the right to request a modification of their child support if they are sentenced to or currently serving more than 180 days of incarceration
  • Allowing credit for health, vision and dental care paid by stepparents in the child support calculations
  • Creating a minimum child support order of $100 for noncustodial parents in some circumstances
  • Establishing a self-support reserve for noncustodial parents to ensure they have enough resources for basic needed while fulfilling their child support obligations. under this change, child support orders in most cases would leave the noncustodial parent with at least $1,150 a month to live on
  • Allowing a person's criminal record to be used to determine a parent's income if there is no other evidence to use in child support calculations

The department said it will be adding a temporary requirement for case modifications until November 10, in an effort to reduce an influx of new child support modification requests. Until November, there must be a change in circumstances and at least a 15% change between amoung of the current support order the the amount of the proposed order for the modification to be granted.

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