Tennessee youngster help case abstract on voluntary underemployment in divorce.

Jennifer Blair Dematteo Turk v. Michael Joseph Turk, Jr.

The mom and father on this Rutherford County, Tennessee, case married in 1999 and had three youngsters when the mom filed for divorce in 2017 following submitting for chapter.  They had been in a position to agree on most points, together with naming the daddy as the first residential guardian for one of many youngsters.

A trial was held earlier than Choose J. Mark Rogers, who discovered fault on each side.  The courtroom divided the marital debt and ordered the daddy to pay the spouse’s money owed as a type of alimony.  The courtroom set a residential schedule with a 50/50 cut up of co-parenting time.  The daddy was ordered to pay youngster help, primarily based upon the spouse’s earnings.  Regardless that the daddy claimed that the spouse was voluntarily unemployed, the courtroom rejected this argument.  Based mostly upon these findings, the daddy was ordered to pay $1271 per thirty days in youngster help. The daddy then introduced an enchantment to the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals.  He argued that the decrease courtroom had erred in setting the residential schedule and the quantity of kid help.  The appeals courtroom turned first to the parenting plan.

The courtroom started by outlining the statutory elements for use in custody determinations.  The daddy claimed that the decrease courtroom had not adequately thought-about all of those elements.  However the appeals courtroom reviewed the document and concluded that the entire related elements had been thought-about.  The daddy identified that the youngsters had expressed a desire to be with their father the vast majority of the time.  However the appeals courtroom discovered that it was extra vital to contemplate the mom’s have to spend the utmost period of time with the youngsters.  After reviewing the entire proof, the courtroom agreed that the decrease courtroom had acted correctly.

The courtroom then turned to the problem of kid help.  Specifically, it seemed on the father’s declare that the mom was voluntarily underemployed.  Due to this fact, he argued that the kid help ought to have considered the upper wage she was able to incomes.

The trial courtroom had thought-about this problem, and famous that the mom had earned the next wage earlier within the marriage.  Nevertheless it additionally famous that she was terminated from that job via no fault of her personal, and had executed nothing inappropriate.

The decrease courtroom had additionally detailed the mom’s efforts to land the next paying job, and concluded that her present decrease wage was merely short-term, and never a results of her being voluntarily underemployed.

After reviewing this proof, the appeals courtroom concluded that the decrease courtroom had dominated appropriately.

Each events requested their lawyer charges for the enchantment, however the appeals courtroom held that they’d not be awarded.

For these causes, the Courtroom of Appeals affirmed and remanded the case.

No. M2019-00869-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. June 24,  2020).

See authentic opinion for precise language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see Child Support Laws in Tennessee.

See additionally Tennessee Parenting Plans and Child Support Worksheets: Building a Constructive Future for Your Family that includes precise examples of parenting plans and youngster help worksheets from actual circumstances accessible on Amazon.com.


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