November 2020 | No. E2019-01302-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2020)

Sekik v. Abdelnabi (Tennessee 2020)

When evidence supports the determination of a parent’s income, it will not be overturned as an abuse of discretion.  In this divorce case, the trial court initially set support in a temporary parenting plan entered in 2012. At the time, the parents had four minor children. In the final decree, entered in 2019, the trial court set support for the two youngest children. The father appealed the child support order as well as other terms. Specific to child support, he argued that the court had no evidence of either party’s earning capacity, and should have imputed the minimum income specified in the guidelines to both parents. The appellate court upheld the child support order. The mother testified as to her actual income from her work as a phone interpreter. To impute her at the guideline amount would not have been appropriate. The amount the trial court attributed to the father was slightly lower than the guideline minimum amount, and the appellate court found no abuse of discretion in this decision. The father also appealed the amount of retroactive support. He argued it included support for a time period during which he and the mother had reconciled. The appellate court found testimony in the record to the contrary and language in an order that outlined how the award of retroactive support was calculated.

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