Tennessee Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

Even if the non-custodial parent lives outside the state of Tennessee, the law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is legally required to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.

Tennessee Child Support Enforcement Measures

If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Tennessee child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.

Who Can Enforce Court Ordered Child Support in Tennessee?

Tennessee Child Support Services is the state-run child support enforcement office for Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Human Services is required by federal law to provide services through Child Support Services (CSS) and is funded by the federal government and the state of Tennessee.

TENNESSEE CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES CASELOAD STATISTICS1
Full Time Equiv. Staff 1,059
Total Caseload 358,156

1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005

Interest on Missed Child Support Payments

Tennessee makes no provisions to access interest on late child support payments, retroactive support or adjudicated arrears.

Tennessee Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support Payments (Arrears)

There is no statute of limitations on enforcement of past due child support in Tennessee (TCA § 36-2-321).

Tennessee Statute of Limitations for Determination of Paternity

Determination of paternity in Tennessee must begin within 3 years after the child turns 18.

Age of Emancipation / Age of Majority in Tennessee

The age of emancipation in Tennessee is 18 unless the child is still in high school. Emancipation occurs when child graduates from high school or when the class the child is in when he/she reaches 18 or graduates. (T.C.A. § 34-11-102)

How Are Child Support Payment Amounts Determined in Tennessee?

The State of Tennessee uses an "Income Shares" model for determining child support obligation. Income Shares requires the courts to review the income of both parents before setting a child support amount.

Custody and Visitation Issues

Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.

The custodial parent must obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce any of its orders against either parent.

Our clients say...

It took me 10 years to catch up with my husband to establish a court order for child support. Years had gone by and his debt was in the thousands. I got Human Services involved and they told me that because I was now in a different state I had to close my case and had to open my case there. Weeks after I sent the paperwork to the Child Support Enforcement office, I received a letter saying I needed to attach notarized proof of previous payements made etc, etc, etc. I was tired of going through the process of trying to get child support owed.

I found the website for Support Collectors. I figured it probably wouldn't work and a lot of paperwork would be required...Well, there was not a lot of paperwork. It was so easy, I don't know why these other agencies need so much stuff when Support Collectors took the basic information and I had payment coming in in less than 6 weeks (this includes the time that I filed). Support Collectors kept in contact with me and was able to establish a settlement in no time. I was really surprised. I would recommend this service to anyone else (man or woman). The service was excellent.
- Lee M., Alabama
Collected $26,000


After many years of searching through various agencies for my ex-husband, a dear friend told me about the Support Collectors web site. I logged on and requested an application, thinking to myself it won't make a difference. We hadn't found him in 19 years, they won't be able to find him either. To my surprise they did and very quickly. Support Collectors handled everything very professionally and I received my settlement of $60,000 within a few months!

I would highly recommend Support Collectors to anyone who is owed child support. Thank you Support Collectors for doing what I thought was completely hopeless.
- Terry M., Illinois
Collected $26,000


Thank you so much for your help in getting the child support payments my daughter deserves! I only wish I would not have waited so long to contact you for assistance. You succeeded when everyone else had failed.

Don't try to handle this problem on your own with the department of child support services who are drowning in a sea of paperwork, let Support Collectors take care of you personally. The best part is that you don't owe them anything until they get payments for you and believe me, it is worth every penny.
- Teresa H., Illinois
Collected $26,000