Overtime causes higher child support amount to be owed in Tennessee

Working overtime can cause higher or greater child support in Tennessee. Under the Tennessee child support guidelines, the definition of gross income includes just about every type of income imaginable including overtime earnings, wages, and pay. There can be exceptions to be determined in the judge’s discretion. This applies to earnings for both parents. We recommend parents set out details about overtime income in child support orders.   For more information, see Overtime in Tennessee Child Support Law.  For more information on Tennessee child support law, see:


Hi, this is Miles Mason.  This Tennessee child support answer about overtime is for our family law and divorce clients and friends in Germantown, Collierville, Memphis, Tennessee and the surrounding area. The definition of what is gross income for child support purposes is listed in the Child Support Guidelines.  Gross income includes just about every type of income imaginable.  There are very few exceptions.  But, yes, overtime can be included.  For most employers, overtime is not guaranteed and in tough economic times, jobs are hard to come by.  Judges know this.  In general, expect seasonal overtime, like Christmas rushes, to almost always be included in gross income for child support determination because they can be expected to occur annually.  Some judges will give child support obligors a bit of a break under certain circumstances.  For example, if there is testimony that overtime related to a particular project requiring overtime is no longer working, a judge may exclude that overtime income for future child support.  Know that judges will also look at how long the overtime has occurred.  If the parents’ employer paid a significant number of overtime hours over a four or five year period, that will be looked at differently than if there were only three or four months of heavy overtime in one year only.  So, consider asking your lawyer to include in your support order exactly how overtime is handled to prevent inconsistent treatment in the future.

Memphis divorce attorney, Miles Mason, Sr., practices family law exclusively and is founder of the Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC.  Buy The Tennessee Divorce Client’s Handbook: What Every Divorcing Spouse Needs to Know, available on Amazon and Kindle.  To schedule your confidential consultation, call us today at (901) 683-1850.

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