Under Tennessee law, both parents are equally and jointly responsible for their minor child’s “care, nurture, welfare, education and support.” Furthermore, the duty to support a biological or legally adopted son or daughter continues until that child’s eighteenth birthday, or until the child’s high school class graduates if a 19-year-old, which every occurs last. T.C.A. § 34-1-102.

In a child support order, two parties are named:  the Primary Residential Parent (PRP) who receives child support; and an Alternate Residential Parent (ARP) who pays child support. The PRP is also referred to as the “obligee”; and the PRP the “obligor.”

Child support obligation are based on the Income Shares model.  The Income Shares model establishes the dollar amount of the child support obligations based on the amount of parents’ combined adjusted gross income and the number of children for whom the child support order is being established or modified.  The child support calculator takes into account the parties income, child care costs, health insurance costs, reoccurring medical expense, parenting time spent with the child, and additional children.