In addition to child custody, child support is one of the most fought about issues when couples separate from each other. It is important to understand what responsibilities you have if you have pay child support.
You also should know what rights you have if you are owed child support. Fortunately for Kentucky residents, Kentucky Child Support is available to answer questions and help resolve child support issues. Some common child support issues and disputes may involve:
- Child support payment amounts;
- Which parent should pay;
- Late or missed payments;
- Collection of missed child payment amounts that have accumulated (“arrears”); and/or
- Adjusting or modifying child support payments.
- Kentucky Family Law: Who Needs to Pay Child Support?
- Kentucky Family Law: How Can I Apply for Child Support?
- Kentucky Family Law: What If I Do Not Want to Pay Child Support?
- Kentucky Family Law: Can the Other Parent Punish Me for Not Paying Support?
- Kentucky Family Law: How Can I Stop Paying Child Support
- Kentucky Family Law: If I Filed for Bankruptcy, Will it Affect My Child Support Requirements?
- Where Can I Find the Right Kentucky Family Lawyer?
The parent that does not have custody (the “non-custodial parent”) is typically obligated to pay the custodial parent child support. Whichever parent that the child lives with most of the time is the custodial parent. Kentucky has a child support calculator that helps establish how much child support you must pay.
Calculation of child support can also be based on an analysis of several different factors. These can include:
- The number of children involved;
- Income level of the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent;
- Any special needs that the child requires, such as physical, medical, healthcare, academic, and social needs;
- Cost of living in the area where the child resides;
- History of payments and support amounts; and/or
- Various other elements and factors.
You can apply online through the Kentucky Child Support Interactive website. Another option is filing through the court system. The more information you can provide the faster and easier it will be to process your child support case.
Some factors that can make the case more complicated is how difficult it can be to track down the other parent, establishing paternity, or if the noncustodial parent lives in a different county or state. For instance, if the non-custodial parent is in jail or otherwise unavailable, the court may consider this in their ability to make the payments.
There are several serious consequences for not paying child support. The most common consequence is wage garnishment where money is automatically taken out of your check. In some cases, the state of Kentucky can also seize your bank accounts and tax refunds.
You can also be at risk of going to jail for not paying child support. Liens can be put up against your property, or your property can be seized outright. You can be denied a passport or lose your license, as well.
Even if you are not paying child support, you still have visitation rights. The other parent does not have the right to keep you from seeing your child or take other measures because you are behind on child support. If this becomes a problem you can file an order asking the court to enforce visitation schedules.
However, there is a difference between being behind on child support payments and refusing to pay child support. Remember, child support is different from spousal support, so not paying child support only hurts your child. Refusing to pay child support to spite the other parent or out of belief that the child is not really yours will ultimately impact your rights to visitation.
If you feel you should not be paying child support, it is extremely important you speak to a lawyer. Do not just stop making payments on your own because you could suffer legal consequences for doing that.
One way you can stop child support is by coming to an agreement with the other parent. This only works though if the other parent is not on any type of government welfare, otherwise you cannot agree to stop paying support.
Before child support even begins, the parents have to establish paternity. So, you could potentially never have to pay child support if you can show in court that you are not the biological parent of the child.
While bankruptcy can place a person in a difficult financial situation, filing for bankruptcy will generally not stop child support obligations in the state of Kentucky. If you file for bankruptcy, it may provide a short-term hold on some forms of debts; however, if the person also has past due child support payments, they will eventually have to pay these off.
On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy might help the paying parent reduce their debt amounts in other areas; this might free up some resources that can then be used for paying of missed child support amounts.
Since child support is such a complicated aspect of family law and can have consequences that last for years, it is very important to find the right lawyer. You should find a family law lawyer in Kentucky that can assist you in asserting your rights. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and guidance for your child support situation.