In Kentucky, most child support cases are determined under the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines set out in Kentucky Revised Statute 403.212(7). In such cases, child support can be calculated predictably and consistently. The result is less litigation, lower legal costs and faster resolution of cases. In a majority of cases the guidelines provide a simple calculation of child support obligations. The guidelines take into account the parties' income, the cost of health insurance, the cost of daycare and the number of children. These figures are plugged into a formula resulting in the child support obligation.
While the Kentucky child supportt statutes provide a predictable way of calculating child support in a majority of cases, there are some notable failings in the current language of the statute. As times change the Child Support Guidelines remain static even as other factors in the economy, child custody laws and parenting arrangements evolve. Consequently, the application of the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines makes sense in fewer cases. The most common case where the Guidelines do not work is a case involving combined income above the maximum income provided for in the guidelines, $15,000 per month. In such cases, a Court cannot simply rely on the Guidelines when setting a support amount. Similarly, parties in such a case cannot rely on the Guidelines to predict a child support amount.
When a court determines that extraordinary factors exist, it may deviated from the guidelines. In such cases, the court is allowed broad discretion to determine an appropriate amount. This allows court to tailor a child support obligation to meet a child's particular needs. A common example occurs when the parties are the parents of a child with special needs requiring extraordinary care and expenses.
Another common scenario that may trigger deviation from the child support guidelines is shared parenting arrangements whereby both parents spend a substantial amount of time with the children. In such cases a Court may look at all factors to determine if the application of the child support guidelines would be inappropriate.
Although deviation from the child support guidelines allows a court to ensure that a child receives the support he or she needs, it also strips away all predictability that the guidelines provide. The result is often that the parties must have a hearing to determine a child support amount. The discretion of the court means that the presentation of your case is key. Every detail of a case may be important and each case may turn on the skill of an attorney.
At Barrow Brown our attorneys are experienced at all level of child support issues, from basic calculations to complex appeals. We also assist clients in obtaining judgments, collecting past due support, and defending against pending contempt or criminal charges.
Our attorneys offer innovative solutions to complex legal issues and strive to serve our clients with compassion. Our child support lawyers proudly represent clients throughout Jefferson and surrounding counties. We are dedicated to providing cost-effective results for our clients.
For more than a decade, our family and divorce lawyers have acquired a reputation for excellence in family law trial advocacy. Our founding partners are now among the most award-winning trial attorneys in Kentucky.