Young v. Engel

Facts: Father retired, thereby entitling Child to receive a monthly benefit check flowing from Father’s Social Security account. Father asked the trial court to offset his child support obligation to reflect this benefit. The trial court refused.

The Court of Appeals reversed.

[T]he guidelines do not permit the court to disregard a child’s Social Security check when calculating child support if that check is derived from an obligor parent’s account. Instead, the Social Security check must be factored into the child support equation in two places. First, it must be added to the obligor’s gross income for the purpose of calculating a presumptively correct amount of child support. Then it must be subtracted from the resulting figure to reduce the proportion of the child’s support that comes directly from the obligor’s funds.

Young v. Engel (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 3, 2010).

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K.O. Herston is a family-law attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and other aspects of family law.

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