What You Need to Know About Modifying Child Support in Kentucky
Navigating child support in Kentucky can be a complicated and long process. Here’s what you need to know about Kentucky child support, and how to modify it.
If you have gone through a divorce with children, you may be paying or receiving child support. But circumstances can change, and you may want to increase or decrease the amount of child support being given. Since the court has the final say on ordering child support, the court also has the final say on modifying child support.
What is Kentucky Child Support?
Child support refers to the monthly payment the non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent to cover the costs of raising the child after a divorce. The amount of child support depends on the parents’ income and the number of children who need financial help.
Kentucky courts determine child support based on specific guidelines. If the parents don’t agree with the court-ordered amount, they may request the judge to modify the child support plan. For example, if the current child support is not meeting the child’s financial needs, the parent may request an increase in child support money. If the parent paying child support is paying too much, the parent may request a decrease in child support money.
How to Apply for Child Support in Kentucky
Applications for child support are available at your local child support office or the Kentucky Child Support Initiative (KCSI) website. You must fill out an application and deliver it to the local child support office, either in person or by mail.
An annual fee of $35 is charged on all child support cases in which the custodial parent has never received cash assistance. Once the total payment amount sent to the custodial parent during the fiscal year reaches $550, the $35 fee is deducted from all future payments.
How Kentucky Courts Determine Child Support
Kentucky courts consider these factors in calculating child support:
- Both parents’ gross income, including military pension, severance pay, alimony, etc.
- Whether either parent pays alimony to a previous spouse.
- Whether either parent pays child support under a pre-existing order.
- Whether either parent makes payments in support of other children not covered by a prior child support order.
The judge uses these factors to determine the parents’ adjusted gross income, which is the basis for the standard amount of child support the judge orders per child. Click here for a Kentucky child support estimator.
Courts can assign income to deadbeat parents, which are parents who are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. If parents have a good reason for not working or working less, the court will not hold them responsible for additional income.
How to Challenge Kentucky Child Support
Before the court issues the child support order, either parent can challenge the calculated amount.
If a parent asks the court to adjust the amount of child support, the judge will consider the following factors:
- The child’s extraordinary medical needs.The child’s extraordinary, educational, job training, or special needs.
Either parent’s own extraordinary needs
- The child’s independent financial resources, if any.
- The parents’ combined monthly adjusted gross income in excess of Kentucky child support guidelines.The parents’ agreement to child support is different from the guideline amount.
- And, any similar factor the court recognizes would make the application of the child support guidelines inappropriate.
How to Modify Kentucky Child Support
If the court has already issued child support, either parent can request a change of the amount of child support if they have experienced a material change in circumstances resulting in a 15% or more increase or decrease in the amount of support due monthly. For instance, if a parent relocates, loses a job, remarries, or has another child, the parent would qualify as a material change in circumstances.
The parent who requests to modify child support must send a request for review to their local child support office as well as the parent’s W-2 forms, tax returns, pay stubs, proof of daycare expenses, and health insurance costs.
FAQs About Kentucky Child Support Law
How are child support payments collected?
The non-custodial parent can pay the custodial parent through various means including cash, check, bank transfer, direct deposit, Venmo, Zelle, etc.
What if the parent fails to pay child support on time?
If the parent fails to adhere to the child support payments, they are at risk of:
- Court action resulting in jail time.
- Interception of tax refunds.
- Passport denial.
- Driver’s, professional, or wildlife license removal or denial.
- Levying bank accounts.
- Withholding of unemployment benefits.
Is paying for the child’s health insurance part of child support?
Yes, health insurance is always a part of child support.