Child Support Program Frequently Asked Questions
- What services are provided by the Child Support Program?
- The following services are available through the Child Support Program:
Note: The Child Support Program cannot help with civil matters such as divorce petitions, custody, or parenting time/visitation, nor can they provide legal advice on these issues. Contact the court mediator in your judicial district to discuss how these matters can be addressed by the court.
Location of a child’s parent(s) for the purpose of obtaining support or establishing paternity
Establishment of paternity Establishment and enforcement of child support orders
Establishment and enforcement of medical support
Collection and distribution of payments
Modification of child support orders
Enforcement of spousal support orders if child support is also involved
- Who can apply for services?
- Any custodial parent, non-custodial parent or caretaker of a child who needs the services offered by the Child Support Program may apply for services regardless of their income.
- How do I apply for services?
- You may apply for services by completing an Application for Child Support Services. Applications are available in English and Spanish.
Once completed, you should mail the application to your local child support office.
- What is my child support case number?
Once a case is established in the Tennessee Child Support Enforcement System (TCSES), a case number will be assigned. The case number will appear on forms received from the Child Support Office as the IV-D or TCSES case number. You may also contact the Child Support Disbursement Unit at (615) 253-4394 (local) or 1-800-838-6911 (toll free) to obtain your case number.
Note: If you are calling from a cell phone and have free long distance, please call the local number instead of the toll free number.
IMPORTANT: Your name, date of birth, social security number, and other identifying information will need to be provided when you call and request your case number. Due to confidentiality guidelines, we want to be certain we are providing this information to the correct individual.
- What are the payment options available to the non-custodial parent?
- Most non-custodial parents pay through Income Withholding Orders, if this is not an option, the non-custodial parent can pay their court ordered obligation by mail or on-line by automatic withdrawal, phone, mobile website or credit card.
- How can I check the status of a child support payment?
- You may find this information online at https://apps.tn.gov/tcses/. Noncustodial parents (NCPs) and custodial parents (CPs) can view processed payments. The site will show the most recent payment information first. However, you may narrow your search to payment information for the current month, the last six months, a date range, and/or full payment history.
- I have a child support order, but the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay. How can I get my order enforced?
- One of the principal goals of the Child Support Program is to ensure families receive the child support they need and deserve in accordance with the child support order. Most enforcement tools utilized to collect past due support are administrative and do not require the involvement of the court. When administrative mechanisms do not prove effective, court involvement may be necessary. For assistance in enforcing your child support order, contact your local child support office.
- How can I obtain the child support balance?
- Contact your local child support office to request the balance on your case(s). If you do not agree with the amount stated, you may request a manual calculation be completed based upon your court order.
- I think the child support obligation needs adjusting. How can I get it changed?
- Both parents have the right to request a review and possible modification of the child support order at any time. A significant variance is required for modification of an existing order. Current income information for both parties will be reviewed to determine if an adjustment is appropriate based on the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. For assistance, contact your local child support office or your private attorney.
- My employer continues to deduct too much child support even though my arrears are paid (or there has been a recent modified order). Who should I contact?
- If you think your payroll deduction for child support is incorrect, contact your employer or your local child support office for assistance.
- My child will soon be 18 years and is still in high school. Do I need to do anything?
- Tennessee Code Annotated Section 34-1-102 (b) states that parents shall continue to be responsible for the support of each child for whom they are responsible after the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age if the child is in high school. The duty of support shall continue until the child graduates from high school or the class of which the child is a member when the child attains eighteen (18) years of age graduates, whichever occurs first. Please contact your local child support office for case specific information.