Child support is a payment made by a noncustodial parent for the care of his or her child.
In Kentucky, child support is calculated under the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines.
Though you cannot determine an exact amount of child support that you may be able to receive before you get your actual child support order, there are ways to estimate how much you may be eligible to receive. Kentucky has set forth guidelines to determine how much a non-custodial parent should pay in child support. Some of these factors include:
- The number of children who are the subject of the pending action
- Gross monthly income of both parents
- Amount of alimony and child support paid by the non-custodial parent as a result of a previous marriage
- Amount of alimony and child support paid by the custodial parent from a prior marriage
- Cost of daycare
- Cost of family health insurance
To estimate the amount of child support you would pay or receive, go to the Kentucky Child Support Interactive Estimator.
What can I do if my ex-spouse won’t pay?
In Kentucky, child support orders are enforced through the Child Support Enforcement program (CSE), which is a division of the Department for Income Support. The CSE has many resources at their fingertips that can help them enforce your child support order. Some of the tactics they might take include intercepting the non-custodial parent’s state and/or federal tax refunds, withholding income, suspending his or her driver’s license, intercepting lottery winnings, and passport denial.
Who is the Non-Custodial Parent?
Kentucky Child Support Program refers to a parent who does not have physical custody of a child(ren) as a noncustodial parent (NCP). A noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support and/or medical support for the children.
Who is the Custodial Parent?
The Kentucky Child Support Program refers to the person who has physical custody of the child as the custodial parent (CP). Although this is typically a parent, a custodial parent could also be a relative or other caretaker of the child(ren). A custodial parent is the one that receives the child and/or medical support for the child(ren).
Can I apply for child support services before the birth of my child?
No. Child support services cannot be requested until after the birth of the child.
How do I request an increase or a decrease in the child support amount?
A written request for a review must be submitted to the local child support office handling your case, along with income information such as W2s, tax returns, and pay stubs. Proof of day care expenses and health insurance costs should also be provided with the review request whenever possible. There must be a “substantial and continuing change” that results in the support obligation going up or down by 15% or more before the local office will file a legal action to change the amount. If a participant on a case requests an increase in child support and it is found that the new child support amount actually qualifies for a decrease, the child support office may then proceed with action to decrease the child support. The same applies when a participant requests a decrease and the case actually qualifies for an increase.
Will my child support stop when my child turns 18?
For Kentucky child support orders, the child support order ends when the child turns 18, unless he or she is still enrolled in high school, in which case child support would continue through the school year in which the child turns 19. Under certain circumstances, child support may continue past the child turning 18 (or 19 if still in high school) if ordered by the court. If the support order is for more than one child, the support obligation will not automatically end when one of the children reaches 18 (or 19 if still in high school) unless that child is the youngest child or the child support order listed a separate amount of child support for each child. If neither of these conditions exists, a request for a review of the child support obligation must be submitted before any change in the obligation amount can be made.
If I go to jail or prison, will my child support obligation stop?
No. The child support obligation does not end when a parent becomes incarcerated. When released from incarceration, the parent will need to contact the local child support office handling the case to provide an updated address, employment information and make payment arrangements.
Must the child(ren) be covered by health insurance?
Yes. Health insurance must be included in any child support order. Even if it isn’t available immediately, the court will order the insurance to be provided when it does become available. This applies to all cases.
Which parent is responsible for health care coverage?
The court can order either parent, or both, to provide health care coverage. If health care coverage is not accessible and reasonable in cost, the order shall provide for cash medical support by ordering payment of extraordinary medical expenses (expenses not covered by insurance).
What is reasonable cost?
Reasonable cost means the cost of providing health care coverage for the child(ren) does not exceed 5% of the responsible parent’s gross income.