Life Just Got a Little Easier for Tennessee Child Support Obligors
Two new Tennessee laws went into effect July 1, 2015 that could help people who owe child support arrears breathe a little easier.
The first, Public Chapter 200 (SB0101/HB0090), allows child support obligors (people who owe child support) to reach a compromise with child support obligees (people to whom child support is owed) settling and/or forgiving child support arrearages. There are a few major caveats, however. The first, and most important, is that the child support obligee must agree to settle the amount of arrears. The second is that the court must approve of the settlement and find that the settlement is in the best interests of the minor child. Finally, if the child has received any government public assistance, such as Tenncare or food stamps, the State of Tennessee's lawyers must be parties to the action and will have the opportunity to oppose the settlement. Still, this law has the potential to benefit child support obligors who feel like their child support obligations are never going to end.
The second new law, T.C.A. Section 36-5-714, could help child support obligors who have lost their driver licenses due to arrears. Under certain circumstances and with government approval, this new law provides for a restricted driver license allowing obligors to drive to and from work and/or school ONLY. I frequently hear from people who need driver licenses in order to work and pay their child support and therefore are falling even further behind on their obligations, so I think this is a step in the right direction.