Grace v. Grace (Tennessee 2022)
In January 2017, the parties registered a Kentucky decree of divorce in Tennessee. In 2020, the father asked to modify the visitation schedule, and the mother counter-petitioned to modify support. Specific to support, the trial court entered a judgment for arrears due under the Kentucky order from January 2014 – December 2016. It then modified support, effective January 2017. The trial court denied the mother’s request for pre and post judgment interest. The mother appealed the order’s child support provisions. The appellate four affirmed in part and reversed in part. First, the appellate court considered the effective date of the modified support order. Modifying support effective January 2017 violated the rule against retroactive modifications. The new support amount couldn’t take effect prior to December 2020, the filing date of the counter petition for modification. Next, the mother appealed the denied of her request for pre and post judgment interest. Under Kentucky law, the mother was entitled to interest for the payments due under the Kentucky order and the order was remanded for a calculation of the interest. However, for the payments due under the Tennessee order, the trial court had discretion to award prejudgment interest. The trial court found the mother’s own actions let to a delay in the proceedings and declined to award interest and the appellate court found no error in this reasoning. Finally, the mother appealed the income calculation. The appellate court found no error. For the father, the trial court used the income he provided on his parenting plan. For mother, the trial court used the evidence provided during the trial.