Mason’s Tennessee Child Support “Cheat Sheet”

This outline organizes reference material in the way I think about child support and links to reference pages on this site and others.  This page was updated as of Jan. 7, 2021  See references to legal resources below.

Tennessee Child Support Calculations & Guidelines

Getting Started:

  1. Guidelines (Most recent update: May 2020)
  2. Page to download Guidelines
  3. Overview of Tennessee Child Support Laws
  4. Answers to Child Support FAQs
  5. Free Tennessee Child Support Calculator App
  6. Tennessee Family Law Blog: Child Support Category
  7. Strategies
  8. Tennessee Parenting Plans and Child Support Worksheets: Building a Constructive Future for Your Family

The Big Three: Determining Both Parents’ Income & Counting Parenting Days

  1. Income Determination Overview
  2. Overtime
  3. Commission and bonuses
  4. Averaging income
  5. Voluntary unemployed underemployed
  6. Caps on income for high earners
  7. Self-employed parents
  8. Cash business owners
  9. Hidden income
  10. Evidence of income
  11. Tennessee Family Law Blog: Child Support Income Determination Category
  12. Parenting Time:
  13. Definition of a day
  14. Calculating number of days
  15. Actual Parenting Time vs. Parenting Stated in Plan


  1. Children’s portion of health insurance premium
  2. Recurring uninsured medical expenses
  3. Work-related childcare
  4. Special expenses (add on’s)


Tennessee’s Child Support Guidelines can be a challenge to understand and navigate.

  1. Long-distance visitation expenses
  2. Upward Deviations:
  3. Educational travel & high income obligors
  4. Special educational needs
  5. Expenses paid outside the Guidelines:
  6. Private school tuition
  7. Extracurricular expenses
  8. Payment of uncovered medical expenses


  1. Credit for Supporting Children Living in the Parent’s Home
  2. Credit for Supporting Children Not Living the Parent’s Home

Special Concerns:

  1. Private School Tuition
  2. College Tuition
  3. Special Needs Children – child support past 18
  4. Military issues

Child Support Collection:

  1. Collection & Enforcement in Tennessee Answers to FAQs
  2. Arrearage: back child support
  3. Interest
  4. Collection: TN FL Blog
  5. Income Withholding Order (IWO)

2018 New Law:

  1. 5 year limit on retroactive child support
  2. Creating a schedule of arrearage with a spreadsheet
  3. Negotiating a monthly repayment amount
  4. Negotiating a “cash now” compromise deal
  5. Notes from TDHS

Ending Child Support:

  1. When does child support end for parent of one child?
  2. When does child support end for parent of more than one child?

Modifying Child Support:

  1. TDHS: Modifying child support
  2. TN Family Law Blog: Modification Category

Additional Resources:

  1. State of TN Child Support App
  2. Online resources
  3. Tennessee’s Official Child Support Calculator and Worksheet
  4. TCSES Child Support Services Payment Division Log In
  5. Detailed walkthrough
  6. Guidelines Presentation: Power point overview of the major provisions of the new Income Shares model.
  7. Interpretive Guide
  8. Handbook for administrative cases
  9. Definitions
  10. Laura Morgan’s Child Support Guidelines Book
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