Methods of enforcing child support in Tennessee

Every child in Tennessee and across the country deserves to have the financial and emotional support of both parents, regardless of whether those parents are married, separated or divorced. Custodial parents often struggle with the financial demands of taking care of the children on a daily basis. Child support is designed to alleviate that struggle and ensure that children are able to experience the same quality of life that they would have had their parents remained together. Sadly, a surprising number of parents fail to pay their court-ordered child support, and the children are the ones who ultimately pay the price.

In Tennessee, the parent who does not have primary custody of the child is required to pay child support, which is based off several factors including the parents' gross income. In some cases, the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay a portion of the child's day care, medical and education expenses in addition to the base child support amount. Parents must continue to pay until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school.

Missing child support payments

When parents fail to make a child support payment, the custodial parent may be forced to make vital decisions regarding the care of the child. If the parent chooses to alert the Tennessee Child Support Office, every effort is made to retrieve the delinquent funds. If the negligent parent cannot be found, the state child support office may look through certain records, including the parent's employment, criminal, health care and driver's license records in order to find out his or her location.

Enforcement methods

Once a delinquent parent is reported to the child support office, officials will determine the best way to reclaim the missing funds. They also want to prevent the parent from missing their court-ordered payments in the future. According to the Tennessee Child Support Handbook, officials may:

  • Withhold the current and past due child support from the negligent parent's paycheck
  • Intercept the parent's tax refund
  • Revoke the parent's professional and driver's license, as well as any other type of license issued by the state
  • Place a lien on their property
  • Report the delinquency to the credit bureaus
  • Seize the parent's bank account

Since each case is different, the officials appointed to the case will consider the unique factors surrounding each situation before determining which route of action to take.

When do you need legal assistance?

When your child is not getting the child support that they deserve, you may want to consider taking legal action. An attorney in Tennessee may be helpful in exploring the details of your case and walking you through the legal process. It can be difficult to make sound decisions during emotional times. However, an established lawyer may make it easier to face the situation and receive the financial support that you and your child are entitled to.