As many Tennessee residents know, judicial decisions made during a divorce are often critical in determining how children will adjust to big changes in their lives. Spouses may feel optimistic about the future, but children are often extremely anxious and uncertain because they may have to move and often see one parent less frequently. This is obviously the most common outcome when one parent is awarded custody and the other is ordered to pay child support.
Many Tennessee parents are divorced or may be contemplating a divorce. A serious concern for people in this situation can be child custody arrangements after legal separation is completed. If a child custody battle ends up in Tennessee family court, the judge, not the parents, will decide this issue, always keeping the best interests of the child ahead of all other issues.
Divorced parents in Clarksville, Tennessee, may seek a modification in their child support order if the non-custodial parent is unable to meet the obligations ordered by the court. This may be because of certain unavoidable changes in life such as unemployment or failing health conditions. Seeking a modification is a more viable option than dealing with the legal complications of non-payment. But before approaching the court, that parent may have to understand the law regarding modifications and which circumstances can actually qualify for seeking a modification.
Many children and their custodial parents in Montgomery County are child support recipients. They may be aware that every state, including Tennessee, has its own set of child support laws and most matters pertaining to child support conform to those particular state laws. However, in certain cases of child support delinquency, federal laws may also be applicable.
As noted in a previous blog, the model Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act was put forth by the Uniform Law Commission in 2006 and subsequently adopted by Tennessee to discourage and prevent the abduction of children. The act applies to both domestic and international abductions and is a logical extension if the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement, which also has been adopted by Tennessee.
In 1999, some 262,000 children were abducted in the United States, 78 percent of them by family members because of child-custody battles gone awry, according to the U.S. Justice Department. All states, including Tennessee, have statutes that address child-custody and visitation arrangements and punishments for child abductions, but prevention mechanisms have always been inadequate.
After a divorce many people choose to relocate to another state in order to pursue their goals in life. Such relocation may not be a major issue if the divorcing couple is childless but if a divorcing couple has children, obtaining financial support for the children has often been a concern. In order to ensure that children do not face financial difficulties when parents are in different states, Tennessee has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act drafted by the Uniform Law Commission.
In recent months, many people have raised concerns about Tennessee's efforts toward the enforcement of child support orders. In fact, a recent incident about a delinquent father prompted many Tennessee residents to speak up regarding the state's efforts. That incident was discussed in a blog post last month. However, the situation may not be as bad as it seems because the state has a fully functional child support department that enforces child support orders through various means and methods.
Whenever one parent is left to raise a child alone and the other parent is capable of providing support to cover the costs of health care, education and day-to-day living, a court will generally order the noncustodial parent to make monthly payments. When child support is not paid on time, the custodial parent and child often experience financial problems. For this reason, every state, including Tennessee, has legal measures available to address enforcement problems.
Both Tennessee state laws and federal laws consider child support delinquency to be a serious offense. Although most child support matters are governed by Tennessee laws, there are certain exceptional cases that fall under the purview of federal child support enforcement laws. Title IV Part-D of the Social Security Act requires agencies operating under it to aid state agencies, custodial parents and others in enforcing a child support order.