Tennessee Child Support

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Today child support laws are formed in many countries across the globe. The objective of these guidelines is to make divorced families self-sufficient along with providing children their basic rights. In Tennessee, child maintenance rules are also formed with the same aim in view. These rules are administered by the state's Department of Human Services. The guidelines determine the percentage of income that the non-custodial parents have to pay to meet the basic requirements of their children. According to these guidelines, Tennessee divorce child support amount has to be continued until the child becomes emancipated.

We present here some key information regarding the child support process in Tennessee:

  • In order to apply for child support, a parent must contact the Department of Human Services.
  • The age of emancipation is 18. The support amount may be continued if the child is studying in high school. Emancipation will happen when the child graduates from high school.
  • The support amount is a certain percentage of the obligor's net income like, 50% for 5 or more children, 46% for 4 children, 41% for 3 children, 32% for 2 children and 21% for one child.

Payment schedule in Tennessee Divorce Child Support

The following payment schedules are permissible:


Any date from the 1st to the 31st is acceptable.

Semi monthly

There are 2 payments per month. These 2 dates must be separated by 15 days. For example, 4th and 19th, 6th and 21st or 14th and 29th etc.

Every 2 weeks

Any day from Monday to Friday is selected and after every 2 weeks payment is done.


Any day from Monday to Friday is chosen and the determined amount is paid each week.

In case of semi monthly payments, if 15th and 30th are chosen, then in February, the payments would be made on the 15th and 28th. The same ideology is applicable to monthly payments.

How to pay and receive support?

A parent can make support payments through the Child Support Payment System of the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Otherwise, there are several other options also like:

  • Phone
  • Electronic payments
  • By mail

A custodial parent or guardian can receive payments by:

  • Direct deposit in checking or savings accounts
  • Tennessee Electronic Access Card

Tennessee Electronic Access Card

J P Morgan Chase has issued the Tennessee Electronic Access Card in this state. It is not a credit card but a visa debit card. Each time the child subsidy payment is due, the state electronically deposits the amount in this card's account. This card can be used for the following reasons:

  • For mail, phone and online orders
  • For payment of bills
  • Procuring cash from any bank teller (however, it must accept visa)
  • Getting cash back from merchants who accept visa debit cards
  • Accessing own money from ATMs, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week

Purchasing items at shops wherever visa debit cards are accepted

Search for NCP (non custodial parent) in Tennessee Divorce Child Support

Certain services in this state are offered to locate the NCP. At the state level, the following automated on-line sources are searched:

  • Health records (TennCare)
  • Criminal records
  • Vital records
  • Unemployment records
  • Wage records
  • Driver license

At the Federal level, the Federal Parent Locator Service is used. This involves search of the following records:

  • The Federal Case Registry (this is a directory of child support case information nationwide)
  • The National Directory of New Hire (this is a directory of nationwide rehired or newly hired employees)
  • Social Security Administration
  • IRS (Internal Revenue Service)

Sometimes it is believed that the NCP resides in another state. Then, the state in question is forwarded a locate data sheet. If the local child support office in this other state is successful in the search, it can utilize the UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) for child support enforcement.

The CP (custodial parent) can make his/her own contribution to this search by divulging the Social Security Number of the NCP. The CP can search for it on income tax returns, pay stubs, insurance policies, bank records or hospital records.

What if there are no funds for child support payments?

  • It may happen that the bank account does not have adequate funds for a payment. The account holder must cancel or change the payment minimum 2 business days prior to the scheduled date
  • If the account holder does not cancel or change the payment and there are no funds, the automatic withdrawal would be revoked and the account would be placed on hold. The holder is expected to dispatch all future payments via a guaranteed payment instrument like a certified check, cashier's check or money order.

A non-custodial parent must pay Tennessee divorce child support amount in the right time as ordered by the court. Otherwise they may be the subject of enforcement measures like denial of passport, interception of federal tax funds, withholding of wages, placement of liens, revocation of various licenses etc. Thus it is always better to act in accordance with the state-specific guidelines.

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