How to Collect Back Child Support in Tennessee

by Jeannine Mancini ; Updated July 27, 2017

Parents have an obligation to support their children. When a couple with children separate in Tennessee, the noncustodial parent is typically required to pay child support. If the parent refuses to pay or falls behind on their payments, the amount owed accumulates. After a court order for child support is established in Tennessee, the state is more likely to enforce child support. Once you attend your child support hearing, you can pursue retroactive child support. You can also address back child support in a divorce hearing. If you do not have a court order for child support, there are still options.

Step 1

Contact your local Tennessee child support enforcement agency. Visit the Tennessee Department of Human Services website for help locating the agency near you. You can also contact Tennessee Child Support Customer Service at 800-838-6911.

Step 2

Obtain an application for child support enforcement services. Whether you have an existing child support order or not, child support enforcement can assist you in collecting the money owed to you. Schedule an appointment to complete the application in person at your local child support enforcement office.

Step 3

Provide the required personal information. To apply for services, you will need to supply the full name and address of the parent who is responsible for support, last known address, date of birth, physical description of the noncustodial parent and social security numbers for both you and the absent parent. Include all related case information, such as the case number for the original support order.

Step 4

Supply financial information. List income and employment information for both you and the other parent. List all known assets. If child support has been ordered by the court, provide a copy of the payment record to show payments received from the noncustodial parent.

Step 5

Bring copies of birth certificates for the children. A copy is required for each child you are seeking child support for in the case.

Step 6

Submit the application. There is no fee for child support enforcement services. A caseworker will review your application and determine the proper course of action. If you do not have an order for support, a hearing date will be scheduled. If there is an existing order, the agency will use enforcement tactics such as wage garnishment, license suspension, passport denial, income tax return interception and court action.

About the Author

Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.