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Mother Not Underemployed to Parent Child


Tennessee little one assist case abstract on voluntary underemployment in divorce.

Jennifer Blair Dematteo Turk v. Michael Joseph Turk, Jr.

The mom and father on this Rutherford County, Tennessee, case married in 1999 and had three youngsters when the mom filed for divorce in 2017 following submitting for chapter.  They had been in a position to agree on most points, together with naming the daddy as the first residential guardian for one of many youngsters.

A trial was held earlier than Judge J. Mark Rogers, who discovered fault on either side.  The court docket divided the marital debt and ordered the daddy to pay the spouse’s money owed as a type of alimony.  The court docket set a residential schedule with a 50/50 break up of co-parenting time.  The father was ordered to pay little one assist, based mostly upon the spouse’s earnings.  Even although the daddy claimed that the spouse was voluntarily unemployed, the court docket rejected this argument.  Based upon these findings, the daddy was ordered to pay $1271 monthly in little one assist. The father then introduced an appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.  He argued that the decrease court docket had erred in setting the residential schedule and the quantity of kid assist.  The appeals court docket turned first to the parenting plan.

The court docket started by outlining the statutory elements for use in custody determinations.  The father claimed that the decrease court docket had not adequately thought-about all of those elements.  But the appeals court docket reviewed the file and concluded that the entire applicable elements had been thought-about.  The father identified that the kids had expressed a desire to be with their father nearly all of the time.  But the appeals court docket discovered that it was extra vital to contemplate the mom’s have to spend the utmost period of time with the kids.  After reviewing the entire proof, the court docket agreed that the decrease court docket had acted correctly.

The court docket then turned to the difficulty of kid assist.  In explicit, it seemed on the father’s declare that the mom was voluntarily underemployed.  Therefore, he argued that the kid assist ought to have considered the upper ongoing wage she was able to working for.

The trial court docket had thought-about this situation, and famous that the mom had earned a better ongoing wage earlier within the marriage.  But it additionally famous that she was terminated from that job by no fault of her own, and had performed nothing inappropriate.

The decrease court docket had additionally detailed the mom’s efforts to land a better paying job, and concluded that her present decrease ongoing wage was merely momentary, and never a results of her being voluntarily underemployed.

After reviewing this proof, the appeals court docket concluded that the decrease court docket had dominated appropriately.

Both events requested their legal professional charges for the appeal, however the appeals court docket held that they’d not be awarded.

For these causes, the Court of Appeals affirmed and remanded the case.

No. M2019-00869-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. June 24,  2020).

See authentic 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 assist worksheets from actual circumstances accessible on Amazon.com.


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