Can I Stop Parenting Time if My Ex is Behind on Child Support?

Short Answer: No!

Under Tennessee custody laws, the issues of parenting time and child support are completely separate. Courts do this so someone isn’t denied parenting rights simply because they have fallen upon hard times financially.

Unfortunately, this situation is often abused, as many people who can afford to pay child support simply don’t. And, while it may seem unfair to allow someone to continue to enforce a court order about parenting time but not follow a court order about child support, the courts have made it clear that you cannot stop parenting time simply because someone isn’t paying support.

That said, just because you can’t stop parenting time for non-payment doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. There are a number of things you can do when someone doesn’t pay child support, including enforcement and, most importantly, a possible modification of parenting time.

Importantly, one of the factors that courts look at when considering what is in the best interests of a child is the “ability to provide” for the child. If your ex has stopped paying support, but still demands to see the child (and, maddeningly, still buys gifts, takes trips, etc.), it is possible to ask the court to hold him accountable and also possibly find that his refusal to pay should reduce his parenting time.

And that’s the important note: reduce, not stop. You cannot simply stop parenting time over non-payment. You have to go to court to change the order!

If you or someone you know is facing a divorce or custody case in Rutherford County, or surrounding counties, give us a call. We can help.

Rutherford County’s Favorite Lawyers for Eighth Straight Year

The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly has been voted Rutherford County’s Favorite Law Office once again, earning recognition for exceptional legal services for an impressive eighth straight year. Murfreesboro Attorney Scott Kimberly also received recognition as Rutherford County’s Favorite Lawyer.

On behalf of our entire staff, Scott and Chase want to take a moment to say thank you for your support in the 2020 Ruthies Awards. We are honored to win another two awards for distinguished lawyers in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, bringing the total to fourteen awards over the past eight years.

If you or someone you know are going through a difficult time, whether it involves divorce in Rutherford County, child custody lawyers, being arrested in Rutherford County, or all of the above, call the law office that has been recognized by its community for an unprecedented eight consecutive years.

We are here to help. When it matters most!

What Do I Do If a Police Officer Says I Am Being Detained?

In criminal cases in Rutherford County, Tennessee, our clients often find themselves face-to-face with police, at a time where police are making a decision to press charges or not. We are often asked what do I say if the officer says I am being detained or arrested?

The short answer is very simple: ask for your lawyer!

Every year, our office lectures at MTSU on police-citizen encounters and, more specifically, what to do if you are pulled over by the police. At the end of the presentation, we typically offer a simple way to end a traffic stop that we call one question, two answers.

The question is am I under arrest? No matter which way the question is answered, we advise our students to respond with only four words.

If the police say no, you are not under arrest, we advise our clients to say: I want to leave.

If the police say yes, you are under arrest, we advise our clients to say: I want my lawyer.

And that’s it!

A simple way to understand what to do if an officer says you are being detained (also called being arrested), is to respond with only four words: I want my lawyer!

Nothing else! No comments, questions, suggestions, or other information. Be respectful, ask for your lawyer, and understand that the police have an important job to do, so don’t be a jerk for no reason.

If you or a friend are arrested in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or anywhere else in Rutherford County and Middle Tennessee, give us a call and we can talk you through the next steps.

How is Child Support Calculated?

In divorce, child custody, and parenting plan modification cases, calculating child support is often one of the easiest things to do.

The State of Tennessee issues what is called the “Tennessee Child Support Guidelines” which lead to the creation of the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet. The Guidelines set out the rules around Child Support. The Worksheet actually helps calculate the support amount. You can view each at the following links:

This fillable worksheet takes in the following from each parent: gross monthly income, any expenses for work related child care, routine insurance for the children, and other various expenses that you may incur monthly.

It is important to note that the Child Support Worksheet also allows for credit to be given to parents who have minor children living in their home from other relationships.

While it may appear to be straightforward, the worksheet can be complex and may involve intensive research. The assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can make all the difference in setting the right child support figure, making sure that all expenses are in there, and making sure that credit is given where credit is due.

If you or anyone in your family are either facing a divorce with children, establishing paternity, or modifying an existing parenting plan, give Scott and Chase a call for a free consultation and advice on the paths forward to help achieve what you want.

Doscher Appointed RCCBA Public Service Chair

Our very own Murfreesboro Attorney Chase Doscher has been appointed to serve as the Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association Public Service Chair, which focuses on the operation of the RCCBA Legal Clinic.

The RCCBA Legal Clinic began over fifteen years ago at Greenhouse Ministries in Murfreesboro. Over the years, several local attorneys have volunteered time to assist in managing the Clinic. Recently, the Legal Aid Society has provided tremendous support to the Clinic as well.

Scott previously served as RCCBA Public Service Chair, helping coordinate the Legal Clinic for two years from 2015-2017. Chase began volunteering at Legal Clinic when he joined the office in early 2019 and has now been given a leadership role to assist those in need.

The Mission of Legal Aid is to advance, defend, and enforce the legal rights of low-income and vulnerable people in order to secure for them the basic necessities of life. As part of its mission, Legal Aid assists with legal clinics throughout the State of Tennessee, which provide an opportunity for members of the community to meet with a volunteer lawyer to discuss a legal problem.

The RCCBA Legal Clinic meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at Greenhouse Ministries, 309 South Spring Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Sign-ups begin at 2:30 p.m. and those in need are served on a first-come, first-served basis. We have supported this program for years and we look forward to Chase serving in this critical role for our community.