Tennessee has its own laws and guidelines for how the courts handle child custody and support. According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Services Division, the state uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support.

How much time a child spends with each parent is one of the factors that affects how much child support each parent pays. While one parent may make payments to the other, both parents support the child financially.

Custody could involve fifty-fifty or equal parenting, or the child could live with a primary residential parent more than 50% of the time and the alternate residential parent less than 50% of the time. Typically, the alternate residential parent pays support to the primary residential parent.

Other factors that are relevant in the determination of child support include the adjusted gross income of each parent. FindLaw notes that Tennessee counts the following sources of income in the calculation:

  • Wages, salaries, commissions and overtime pay
  • Fees, tips and bonuses
  • Severance pay, pension and retirement income and investment income
  • Social Security Disability, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits
  • Gifts, inheritance, trust income, prizes and lottery winnings
  • Alimony from other relationships

The court may also consider how many children each spouse supports, including children from other relationships.

The support of a child from both parents should cover all his or her basic needs, including the following:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Health insurance
  • Transportation
  • Medical and dental care

The court may order the alternate residential parent to pay for other needs, as well, such as costs related to extraordinary educational needs and athletic or extracurricular expenses.