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Lawyer Needn’t Pay More than Child Support Guideline Amount


Tennessee little one help case abstract in divorce.

Julie C. W. v. Frank Mitchell W., Jr.

The husband and spouse on this Davidson County, Tennessee, case have been married in 2003.  Both events have been attorneys for a similar agency.  The husband was a associate and the spouse was a part-time workers lawyer.  The husband’s earnings was significantly better than the spouse’s.  The husband was 16 years older than the spouse.  The husband had two youngsters from a previous marriage, and the events had two youngsters collectively, aged 10 and 14.  The events separated in 2012, and the spouse filed for divorce.

Under the kid help pointers, the husband’s little one help obligation was $3,200 per 30 days, and the husband agreed to pay non-public college tuition.  The spouse requested for an quantity along with this quantity.  The trial court docket, nevertheless, checked out her proposed bills, and held that they weren’t affordable quantities.  Instead, the trial court docket discovered that “this court does not believe” the spouse on these bills.  Therefore, it denied the mama’s request.  After deciding the opposite points within the case, it issued its closing judgment, and the spouse appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.  Her appeal was profitable as to the property division.  She argued that the trial court docket had positioned an excessive amount of emphasis on the husband’s age.  Therefore, it remanded on this difficulty.

The spouse was much less profitable on the problem of kid help.  The spouse conceded that the quantity awarded was per the rules.  But she argued {that a} strict utility of the rules was not within the youngsters’s greatest interest.

The trial court docket agreed with the spouse that the youngsters had loved a well-off life-style through the marriage.  But it additionally famous that choices to depart from the rules have been throughout the trial court docket’s discretion, and the trial court docket had particularly made a credibility willpower in opposition to the spouse.  After reviewing the proof, the appeals court docket affirmed the kid help award.

After affirming various different points, the Court of Appeals, in a call authored by Chief Judge D. Michael Swiney, remanded the case to the decrease court docket.

Appellate Judge Kristi M. Davis penned a concurring opinion.  While she agreed with the bulk’s reasoning, she identified what she described as a “troubling issue” within the case:  The spouse had testified that things to eat bills for herself and the youngsters have been $2000 per 30 days, and the trial court docket had discovered that this determine was not credible.  But Judge Davis identified that the husband’s price range for things to eat was $2,600 per 30 days, and the trial court docket “had no issue” with this quantity.  She said that she was perplexed by the discrepancy, and opined that $2,000 for 3 individuals (together with two youngsters) was an inexpensive determine, given the events’ incomes.

No. M2019-01243-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26,  2021).

See unique opinion for precise language.  Legal citations omitted.

To study extra, see Child Support Laws in Tennessee.

See additionally Tennessee Parenting Plans and Child Support Worksheets: Building a Constructive Future for Your Family that includes precise examples of parenting plans and little one help worksheets from actual instances accessible on Amazon.com.


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