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Child Support Payments in Tennessee

In Tennessee, all child support payments are collected and distributed via Tennessee's Department of Human Services' Child Support Program.

Before the alternative residential parent (ARP) can pay the support to the primary residential parent (PRP), there must an existing court order. The amount of the child support payment depends on various factors, including the income of both parents.

Child Support Payments in Tennessee at a Glance

Navigating through the ins and outs of child support law takes a lot of time and effort. It doesn't hurt to to have a readable guide to the content to make it easier. The chart below serves as a resource to assist parents in understanding the laws related to child support payments in Tennessee.


Tennessee Code Annotated:

  • Section 34-1-102 (child support obligation)
  • Section 36-5-901 (overdue support)


Coverage of Child Support Payments


Besides the everyday household costs such as food, clothes, and basic living and housing expenses, (housing, electricity), other expenses that can be applicable to child support payments include the following:

  • Health care costs (premiums and deductibles),
  • Educational expenses, and
  • Child care costs.

Methods for Making Child Support Payments

Income Withholding

Many parents make their child support payments through income withholding. If your order states that you make payments in this manner, this means that your employer takes the money from your paycheck to meet your support obligation.

If the payment is not taken from the income withholding option, then the other methods are by MoneyGram, mail, or online by automatic withdrawal, phone, mobile website, or credit card.

Non-recurring or Recurring Payments

You may schedule the payments as either non-recurring or recurring. The Dept. of Human Services recommends recurring payments to save time and to ensure that the payments are made in a timely manner.

Receiving Child Support Payments

How to Get Child Support

As a PRP, you will receive a check in the mail for your first payment. After that, you will receive a debit card, which you activate by calling the phone number on the back of the card. Once activated, child support payments are applied to your debit card account.

Reimbursement Expenses

If your co-parent owes a child-related reimbursement expense, send them the appropriate documentation (invoice, receipt, or cancelled check) via email or regular mail. Retain the copy of your payment request. If the request is ignored, then you may have to seek court action.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Child Support Payments in Tennessee : Related Resources

Get an Attorney's Help with Tennessee Child Support Payments

Maybe you're a Tennessee parent interested in pursuing an income withholding order due to late payments. Or you have questions about making payments. Whether you're a parent who receives or collects child support, you can get legal insight from a legal professional. Contact an experienced Tennessee child support attorney located near you today.

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