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Nash v. Mulle

Supreme Court of Tennessee
846 S.W.2d 803 (1993)


Facts

Helen Nash (plaintiff) and Charles Mulle (defendant) had a child, Melissa. Mulle had no contact with Melissa and did not pay child support to Nash for Melissa’s care and maintenance. After a hearing to establish paternity, Mulle was declared Melissa’s father and ordered to pay $200 per month in child support. Six years later, Nash filed a motion to increase the support amount based on Mulle’s significantly increased income. At a hearing, there was evidence that Mulle’s income had risen from $30,000 to over $200,000. The court ordered Mulle to pay $3,092.62 per month, with $1,780.17 reserved for a trust fund established for Melissa’s college education. Mulle appealed. The court of appeals reversed and limited the child support award to $1,312 per month, or 21 percent of $6,250, the top monthly income to which the child-support guidelines explicitly applied. Additionally, the appellate court disallowed the trust fund award, finding that the award improperly extended the parental duty of support beyond the age of majority. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Daughtrey, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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