IN RE JEWEL M. - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Sep 11, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

B. Nathan Hunt and S. Allison Winters, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James T.M.

Attorneys 2:

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tina M.R.

Judge(s): BENNETT

Father of Child filed a petition seeking parenting time with Child when she was four years old. Mother sought retroactive child support from Father dating back to Child’s birth. The trial court entered an order stating that the child support arrearage would be measured from the date Father filed his petition. The permanent parenting plan order that was entered the same day, however, was inconsistent and indicated that the arrearage would be measured from the date of Child’s birth. Father appealed, arguing that the order measuring the child support arrearage from the date of the petition should control. The record contains no transcript or statement of the evidence, and we cannot determine which order contains the correct date. We vacate the portion of the trial court’s judgments relating to Father’s child support arrearage and remand the case back to the trial court for further proceedings. Should the court determine the child support arrearage should date back to the filing of the petition rather than to Child’s birth, the court will have an opportunity to make findings supporting such a deviation from the child support guidelines, as required by the applicable statutes and guidelines.