In re Grace N. (Tennessee 2017)

No.M2016-00453-COA-R3-JV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2017)
September 2017

This is the second appeal of this case. The parties appealed the child support calculation in the first order and are now appealing the calculation in the amended order. The Mother appeals the trial court’s calculation of the Father’s income with respect to the proceeds of a property sale and barter income, the court’s exclusion of cell phone fringe benefits and musician income, and the court’s decision to impute income to her. The appellate court found no error in the calculation of Father’s income for the property sale and the barter income. However, the trial court should have included the fringe benefit and the other income. No income is too small to include if it meets the definition of income. The appellate court also upheld the income figure the trial court imputed to the Mother. She is a licensed attorney whose income has steadily declined. The trial court considered her income in previous years and her conscious decision not to work. The appellate court found the trial court properly balanced. There was a timeframe issue so on remand the court must ensure it imputes income for the right period of time.