Kentucky Child Support Laws
In addition to love and support, raising a child requires financial security. The law recognizes that all too often the income of one parent is not sufficient to cover all the necessary costs associated with caring for a child. This is why the law provides for child support. In Kentucky, the court adheres to various guidelines and considers several factors in determining child support.
Calculating the Amount of Child Support
Understanding how child support is calculated requires a brief explanation of the following terms:
- Income refers to gross income if you are employed or, if you are unemployed, your potential income
- Gross income is your income from all sources, including retirement and pensions, dividends, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, and gifts to name just a few. The court will usually evaluate recent paystubs as well as W-2s and tax returns for the previous two years to determine income. When the court is determining gross income, the amount does not only include base salary but overtime, bonuses, and at times, benefits that decrease living expenses, such as a company vehicle or work mobile phone that is permitted for personal use.
- Combined monthly adjusted parental gross income is the combined monthly income of both parents less certain deductions
- Imputed child support obligation is the amount the parent would pay under the Kentucky guidelines. For instance, if you are a physician with substantial earnings during the marriage, but you quit your job and start working at a fast-food outlet at minimum wage as soon as your spouse files for divorce, the court may not accept that you work at minimum wage.
A judge can assess your past earnings to understand what they believe to be your actual earning potential and use that amount to determine child support. This is applicable to both the recipient parent and the paying parent.
The court will verify your income by examining tax returns, pay stubs, statements from your employer, and receipts and expenses if self-employed. If you are not working, your payment amount will be calculated by assessing your qualifications, work history, and the earnings and opportunities within the community.
In Kentucky, monthly child support payments are determined based on the combined monthly adjusted parental gross income, the number of children for whom support is needed, the children’s portion of the health insurance premiums and the costs of daycare. The monthly obligation is divided between the parents based on their combined monthly adjusted parental gross income. In instances where the combined adjusted parental gross income exceeds the levels provided in the guidelines, the court may exercise its judicial discretion in determining the amount of child support.
The minimum monthly child support payment permitted by the guidelines in Kentucky is $60. To discuss how much child support you may receive or be obligated to pay, speak with an experienced Kentucky child support attorney today.
Child Support and Split Custody Arrangements
In cases where you have agreed to a split custody arrangement with the other parent, a child support worksheet will be prepared for each household. The nonresidential custodian who pays a higher monthly amount is responsible for paying the difference between the obligation amount, per the worksheets, to the other parent.
Child Support Formula and Parenting Time Totals in Kentucky
The child support formula in Kentucky is the same for the sole and joint physical custody of the child. In the child support formula, a percentage of the combined income of the parents is used.
These percentages are detailed below:
- One child: 20 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 30 percent
- Four children: 35 percent
- Five children: 40 percent
- Six children: 45 percent
Kentucky, unlike many other states, does not offer automatic parenting time credit that can reduce the amount of child support you pay. Parenting time can affect the child support amount you pay or receive only if the family court determines that visitations by a parent significantly exceed those typically approved by the court. Modifications to child support are made on an individual case basis.
We have helped many parents receive child support payments in addition to resolving issues related to child custody. It is important that you seek out the advice of an experienced Louisville family law attorney in your child support case– contact us today for a free initial consultation to learn how we can help you.