Several variables factor into the child support worksheet pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines in Tennessee. First, the worksheet asks for the number of children involved. Second, the worksheet requires the number of days the children spend with the mother and the number of days the children spends with the father. Third, the monthly gross income for the mother and the father is listed. Fourth, the Federal Benefit for the child, if any, is listed. Fifth, if either parent is self-employed, then the Self-employment tax paid is listed in the worksheet. Sixth, credits are given for any other in-home children or not-in-home children for either party. So, if either parent has another child with someone else, that either lives with them or that lives with the other parent, and they pay child support, then that parent receives a credit. Seventh, the parent who pays the children’s portion of health insurance premium receives a credit. Eighth, the parent who pays any recurring uninsured medical expenses receives a credit for those payments. Ninth, the parent who pays any work-related childcare expenses receives a credit for that.
After all nine (9) of these variables are factored into the child support worksheet then the math takes place. The child support calculator spits out a number which is the presumptive child support order amount. A court can deviate up or down from the amount determined by the child support calculator. However, the court must first state what the presumptive child support amount is, and then the court must make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law which justify an upward or downward deviation in the child support order.
Like any mathematical formula, junk in is junk out. So, if you and the other parent do not provide and input accurate numbers into the child support calculator, then you will not receive the correct amount as the presumptive child support order.
Please go to http://www.tn.gov/humanserv/is/isdownloads.shtml to find an automated web-style calculator, and automated version of the Child Support Worksheet in Excel for Windows users, and an automated version of the Child Support Worksheet in Excel for Mac users.