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If A Stepparent Pays Medical Costs, Does It Impact Child Support Payments?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Child Custody

When parents decide to divorce, one of them, and sometimes both of them, mistakenly believe that the end of their marriage means that their relationship with the other parent ends, too. Of course that isn’t how it works.

You will always be linked to the other parent by your child, so you’ll always have a relationship with the other parent, even after a divorce.

Sometimes those relationships can become pretty complicated, however, and disagreements over child custody or child support must be sorted out in a Shelby County courthouse.

Changes to child support guidelines

Last year, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) announced that it revised child support guidelines to “help align all child support orders with changing family economics, improve the system for both custodial and noncustodial parents, and meet new federal requirements.”

Among the TDHS changes is a provision that answers the question at the top of our Bartlett Divorce Law Blog: “If A Stepparent Pays Medical Costs, Does It Impact Child Support Payments?”

Yes, when a stepparent pays for medical costs (including vision and dental care) that is credited as child support.

Other changes to child support guidelines

  • There’s now a minimum child support order of $100 for noncustodial parents.
  • A self-support reserve was created for noncustodial parents to ensure they can meet both their child support obligations and their own basic needs. In most cases, it means a noncustodial parent will have at least $1,035 per month for their needs.
  • Noncustodial parents have the right to request a child support order modification if they’re sentenced to or are currently serving more 180 days (6 months) of incarceration.
  • A parent’s criminal record can be used to determine his or her income if there’s no other data to use.

TDHS says it provides support services to noncustodial parents to help them find jobs and get the training they need to fulfill their child support obligations.

Divorce is never easy, and it can be especially difficult for parents. Experienced legal counsel can help you to understand your child custody and child support options and obligations.



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