Griffin v. Griffin (Tennessee 2020)

August 2020

The trial court’s determination of child support will be reviewed for an abuse of discretion. The father appealed a decree of divorce awarding primary custody of the children to the mother, dividing the marital estate, and calculating support. Specific to support, the father argued the trial court didn’t calculate each parent’s income correctly. The appellate court found no abuse of discretion in the determination of the mother’s income. Testimony and her social security statement supported her limited work history. The father, a songwriter and musician, designated half of his monthly royalties as income for her in the property settlement. The trial court set her income as the amount of royalty income and the appellate court found no abuse of discretion in this decision. However, the appellate court found the trial court erred in calculating the father’s income when it included the total amount of the monthly royalties in his father’s monthly income. This was a mistake in that the father set over half of this amount to the mother. The appellate court vacated the child support determination and remanded for recalculation.