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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Oct 1, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ronald G. Freemon, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy B. Holt.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Ryan McGehee, Assistant Attorney General; and Rebekah Ann Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Child Support Services of Tennessee and Lisa Holt.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

The matters in dispute pertain to a retroactive child support judgment for a period of time prior to the filing of the child support petition. The trial court assessed a retroactive judgment that included a period of time prior to the filing of the petition, holding that the petition filed by the State on behalf of Mother was to “set” child support not to “modify” support. Father contends a prior support order was in effect when the petition was filed; thus, the trial court violated Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-101(f)(1) by awarding a judgment based on an increase in child support for several months prior to the filing of the petition. In the trial court the State insisted that the petition was to set support; however, on appeal, it concedes that a child support order was in effect when this petition was filed. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-101(f)(1) directs that a judgment for child support shall not be subject to modification as to any time period or amounts prior to the date a petition for modification is filed. Therefore, we vacate the retroactive child support judgment and remand for the trial court to calculate the judgment from the date the petition to modify support was filed.