Tennessee Child Support Enforcement

In order to enforce child support payments in Tennessee a parent who is owed child support and is not receiving it may contact the Department of Human Services child support program and let them know the situation.  DHS may be able to help locate a parent and force him or her to pay what is owed through wage garnishment or attachment or other enforcement methods.

How to File a Complaint

In Tennessee, a parent must pay child support in accordance with the child support order issued by the court of original jurisdiction. Child support orders are enforced across state lines by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.  Payments must be made in accordance with the order that was either issued or agreed upon by both parents.

Payment is typically made on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. If payments aren’t being received as ordered or agreed to, however, a parent can contact DHS to seek enforcement.  DHS will require that you provide them with information about yourself, the other parent and the children for whom you are seeking support.  DHS provides and application where you can fill in this information, sign it and bring it to your local child support office.

How to Fill-in

Step 1Download the form (Adobe PDF).

Download (PDF, 471KB)

Step 2: Read the preliminary information and on the first page of the application, check off who you are in relation to the children, whether you are under 18 and unmarried and whether domestic violence may be an issue.

Step 3: On the second page of the application enter the following information:

  • Name
  • Maiden Name
  • What is the caretaker’s relationship to the child(ren)
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Sex
  • Email Address
  • Would you like to opt in to Email Messaging?
  • Mailing Address of the primary residential parent (PRP) / caretaker
  • Phone
  • Would you like to opt in to Text Messages?
  • Residential address
  • How do you prefer your caseworker to contact you?
  • Primary residential parent (PRP)’s / caretaker’s employer
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Has the primary residential parent (PRP) / caretaker ever been married to the alternate residential parent (ARP)?
  • If yes, provide any of the following information that applies:
    • Marriage Date
    • County
    • State
    • Divorce Date
    • County
    • State
    • Separation Date
    • County
    • State
  • Is any other agency or attorney involved in pursuing child support at this time?
  • If yes, give the name of the agency/attorney
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Has there ever been ANY legal action involving this child(ren)?
  • Do you currently receive, or have you ever received Medicaid benefits?
  • Do you currently receive, or have you ever received public assistance, Families First, benefits?
  • Name, phone number and address of a person we can contact if we are not able to reach you

Step 4: Enter the following information about the non custodial parent (alternate Residential parent (ARP)):

  • Name
  • Maiden Name
  • Alias or nicknames
  • What is the alternate residential parent (ARP)’s relationship to the child(ren)?
  • Phone number(s) for the alternate residential parent (ARP).
  • Has ARP ever lived in Tennessee?
  • Address of the alternate residential parent (ARP)
  • Is mail delivered to this address?
  • Current or last known LIVING address
  • Do you confirm the ARP lives here?
  • Is the alternate residential parent (ARP) self-employed?
  • If yes, in what occupation?
  • Alternate residential parent (ARP)’s current employer
  • Address
  • Work number
  • Alternate residential parent (ARP)’s previous employer
  • Address
  • General information about the alternate residential parent (ARP)
  • Social Security number
  • Birthplace (city/county/state)
  • Date of birth
  • Approximate age
  • Driver’s license number (include state)
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Photograph provided?
  • Distinguishing marks
  • Known disabilities
  • Email Address
  • Is the alternate residential parent (ARP) currently in jail or prison ? If yes, provide the following information
  • Name of the institution
  • Expected release date
  • Address
  • Is this alternate residential parent (ARP) on probation or parole? If yes, provide the following information
  • Parole or probation officer’s name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Has the alternate residential parent (ARP) ever served in the armed forces? If yes, which branch?
  • Dates of service
  • Is the alternate residential parent (ARP) retired from the military or in the reserves?
  • Does the alternate residential parent (ARP) receive any pensions or benefits from the federal government (Social Security, SSI, VA, retired military, etc.) or from other sources?
  • If yes, provide source and approximate monthly income amount
  • Describe any assets the alternate residential parent (ARP) may own.
  • Other contacts for the alternate residential parent (ARP)

Step 5: Enter the following information about any existing court orders:

  • Name of the court that issued the order
  • Date of the order
  • Docket/case number
  • County/State
  • How are payments made?
  • Amount of support ordered
  • Pay frequency ordered (weekly, monthly, other, etc.)
  • Payment due date
  • Date and amount of the last payment/collection
  • Amount of the arrearage

Step 6: Enter the following information about the health coverage for the children:

  • Which parent provides medical insurance for the child(ren)?
  • Carrier name
  • Policy number
  • Insured’s name
  • Monthly insurance premium
  • Number of family members covered by policy
  • Name(s) of the child(ren) who are covered by this policy
  • Do the child(ren) have any unpaid medical bills?
  • Have you presented the unpaid medical bills to the insurance company?
  • Have you presented the unpaid medical bills to the other party?
  • Do the child(ren) have any recurring medical expenses not covered by health insurance?

Step 7: Enter the following information about each child:

  • Child’s Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of birth
  • Were the parents married to each other at the time of birth?
  • Was the mother married to another person at the time of birth?
  • If this child was born out of wedlock, has paternity been established?
  • If yes, how was paternity established?
  • Is this child covered by the alternate residential parent (ARP)’s health/medical insurance policy?

Step 8: Read and initial each line on the last page and then sign.

Step 9: Bring the application or mail it to your local child support office.

What DHS Can Do

In order to make sure that parents who owe child support pay what they owe, DHS has the authority to use many different options including:

  • Withhold wages
  • Seize assets
  • Intercept tax refunds
  • Denial of passport application
  • Revocation of driver’s licenses, professional licenses, and other licenses
  • Report a child support debt to the credit reporting agencies
  • Place liens against real or personal property

Contact DHS

In order to find your local office, go to this page and select your county.

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