Marcel v. Marcel (Tennessee 2022)

No. M2021-00594-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2022)
November 2022

To calculate child support income for a parent with variable income (wages, bonus, overtime), the trial court should consider income over a period of time which will account for the variable income. In this case, the father worked at a plant and his income varied. He earned wages, bonuses, overtime, and double time. To calculate his income for child support, the trial court used his last four paystubs, which didn’t include any of this income. However, the information on the pay stub indicated that this type of income had been received year-to-date. The mother appealed the child support term of the final order. The court of appeals vacated the child support provisions and remanded for recalculation. The trial court failed to consider income over a reasonable period of time. While the definition of reasonable is left to the trial court’s discretion, the appellate court has a preference for a long-term average income for parents with a history of varied income.