Raising children in Tennessee can be expensive, as there are a number of costs associated with the process. Some of these costs are necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. Others are optional and oftentimes are limited to what parents can afford. These include extracurricular activities, vacations, and other forms of entertainment. There are even other expenses which may not be considered necessities but are still necessary to protect a child’s well-being.
These expenses include those associated with obtaining and maintaining health and dental insurance, paying for unreimbursed medical expenses, and child care so the parents can work and pay for everything else the family needs. Like most costs related to children, figuring out how each parent will contribute to these expenses can be difficult when parents are divorced. That is why in these situations one parent will typically pay child support.
Each parent will end up paying a percentage of the costs based on their percentage of the overall income of both parents combined. However, for child support purposes only the portion of health insurance premiums specifically attributed to the children will be included. Also, child care costs must be incurred because of the parent’s job or school schedule before it can be taken into consideration for child support calculation purposes. Finally, only routine uninsured medical expenses will be included in the regular child support order. If uninsured costs are only incurred sporadically, then the order will state that each parent will have to pay a percentage of those expenses when incurred.
The law in Tennessee wants to ensure that both parents contribute to their children’s expenses even if they are divorced. In order to ensure this happens, the law usually requires one parent to pay the other one child support. There are different aspects of a child support order, which include paying for health and dental insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, and child care costs. These can be complicated matters and, if not handled properly, can result in serious financial hardship that can be harmful to a child. Therefore, those preparing to address child support issues should consider discussing the matter with a skilled divorce and family law professional.
Source: Tennessee Department of Human Services, “Child Support Guidelines” accessed on May 14, 2018