In most family law cases in Tennessee one parent is ordered to pay a monthly child support obligation to the other parent. The amount of the monthly obligation is derived from the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines and the accompanying child support calculator. Different variables are entered into the child support calculator to arrive at the obligation amount. The amount of parenting days each parent enjoys with the minor child(ren), the parents’ gross monthly income, insurance and child care payments are a few of the variables that are used in the child support calculations.
Our office regularly meets with clients, and potential clients, that indicate the paying parent has stopped paying their child support obligation. A routine question that I hear, is “Do I have to allow the other parent to see the child since he/she is not paying the child support?” The answer is always YES. While it may seem logical that child support and parenting time go hand in hand, they are in fact two separate issues. The failure to pay child support in and of itself, does not allow one parent to infringe upon the other parent’s parenting time with the minor child(ren). If this situation ever presents itself to you, please consult with a family law attorney to discuss all possible scenarios on how to proceed. Our Murfreesboro attorneys at Parkerson | Santel, PLLC are well versed in the child support and child custody laws and can assist you taking the appropriate action to seek relief from the Court.
Once a child support obligation has been ordered by the Court, the paying parent is required to make this monthly payment. Failure to abide by any court order can have seriously legal consequences. The parent that fails to make the child support payments could potentially be found in contempt of the prior court order. Two types of contempt actions are available when a parent decides to stop paying child support. A Petition for Civil Contempt or a Petition for Criminal Contempt should be explored in this situation. Both types of contempt actions allow the Court to enforce the prior orders by utilizing the local county jail.
Should you find yourself involved in a situation with an alternate parent that has stopped paying their court ordered child support obligation, please contact our office. Our Murfreesboro lawyers at Parkerson | Santel, PLLC, can assist you in navigating the complexities of the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines while seeking all available forms of relief from the Court.