The Parenting Time And Financial Support Your Children Need And Deserve
Divorce, no matter how necessary, does mean change. As a parent you want your children to get the benefits of quality time with you. You also want to be assured that your children will be able to maintain the lifestyle they have. At Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC, in Memphis, our team is focused on making sure that these two things happen. We’ve been finding creative solutions and helping our clients attain their goals for over 30 years.
Getting Your Children The Support They Need
While typically parents will share the responsibility of providing for their children, there are established support guidelines. Child support starts with both parents disclosing their incomes. This is done by using the Tennessee Child Support Worksheets. Your attorney and a judge will review this information and then use the established guidelines and Tennessee law to determine how much money should be paid.
In most cases one parent will pay child support. Usually, this is the parent that the child does not live with full time. While children typically will spend more time with one parent, it is recognized that most children benefit from having both parents play a role in their upbringing.
How much is paid is determined by many factors, including:
- The income of each parent
- The number of children receiving support
- The needs of the children, special needs and education and medical needs
- A parent’s ability to pay (for example a health condition)
- How much time the child spends with each parent
Tennessee has set guidelines. In most cases, these guidelines are followed, although a judge does have some discretion. Parents are obligated to financially support the child until the child is 18 or until the child graduates from high school.
How Custody Is Determined
When parents get divorced, custody is also something that must be decided. Every family has different dynamics. Family law attorneys and judges take this into consideration when determining custody. The first question to be answered is: What is best for the child.
There are many issues that factor into how custody is determined. These typically include:
- What the child needs: education, attention, support, etc.
- What the child prefers if the child is old enough to express it (usually over 12)
- The ability and willingness of the parents to provide for the child; this means providing a safe place to live, an education, adequate medical care and adequate food and clothing and other necessary items
- The role each parent has played in the child’s life so far; who has been the primary caregiver up to this point? Who has given the child emotional support? How is the child bonded to each parent?
- The health and stability of each parent and their ability to parent (for example, is there a history of criminal activity, addiction or abuse)
- The home dynamics; who lives in the home, how will this be affected by the divorce? What is best for continuity?
- The wishes of the parents; this means the type of relationship they want to have with the child and their willingness to do what is necessary to meet the needs of the child
When creating a parenting plan, we work with you to ascertain what your child needs and how you can provide for your child’s religious, educational, health, financial and lifestyle needs. Whether you are pursing a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, we can help. As a diverse firm, we are prepared to represent all types of people, families and children. We are focused on what you need. We work at your speed.
The Help And Guidance You Need Are Here
Our team is committed to ensuring your child gets the support and care needed to thrive. We know this process is a step into the unknown for you, and we are here to guide you every step of the way. Call 901-755-8075 to arrange a consultation about your family law matter.
Or use our online contact form to connect with us. Located in Memphis, our family law attorneys work with clients throughout the Memphis metro area and in Western Tennessee.