Nashville Same-Sex Family Lawyers Guiding Parents through the Child Support Process
Skilled advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ clients throughout Middle Tennessee
After divorce or separation, both parents are legally obliged to contribute to the financial support of their child. The court will grant primary residential custody to one parent and the other parent will have parenting time with the child in a shared custody arrangement. The family court in Tennessee errs on the side of ensuring that a child will be able to enjoy the benefits of a bonded, nurturing relationship with both parents.
At the law firm of Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, we are here to provide legal support for our LGBTQ clients who are involved in same-sex divorce and need to establish child support payments.
Unique challenges regarding child support for same-sex couples
Same-sex couples will likely have legal challenges to overcome regarding child support unless both parents already have legal parental rights. In cases where one parent has a legal relationship with the child and the other parent does not, one parent may find him or herself in the position of having to challenge the court to be considered on equal footing as a parent. However, until that happens they will not have a legal obligation to pay child support.
For parents who both have a legal relationship to the child, the parent with whom the child spends most their time is usually the parent who will receive child support payments. The non-custodial parent has a legal obligation to pay child support until the child turns 18-years-old or graduates from high school with the class of which he/she is a member when the child turns 18, whichever occurs last.
The state of Tennessee has child support guidelines and a child support calculator to determine how much child support one parent might pay to the other based on the income of both parties and other factors.
Child support enforcement in Tennessee
A child support order has the force of law, so when a parent decides not to pay child support, he or she may be held in civil contempt. There is also the possibility that the parent who owes child support may face criminal contempt charges as well. Being denied access to your children does not give you the right to stop paying child support. It is also illegal to deny parenting time to your former spouse or partner because he or she has not paid, or has stopped paying, child support.
If you are a parent with primary residential custody and your co-parent has not been meeting the obligation to pay child support, there are several steps that you can take to encourage them to fulfil their obligation. If you are a parent who pays child support and you need to modify the support order due to a significant change in your financial or other life circumstances, the Nashville same-sex family law lawyers at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC can protect your rights.
Schedule a consultation with our experienced Nashville child support attorneys today
At Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, our attorneys represent parents on either side of child support proceedings through every stage of the proceedings. If you would like to establish a new child support order or modify an existing order in Nashville, you are welcome to contact us today at 615-391-4200 or fill out our contact form to schedule an in-person or video consultation at our Nashville office.