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Kentucky Child Support
Child Support in Kentucky

In Kentucky, child support guidelines are set out by statute. The guidelines are based on the income shares model, based on gross income. Support may include sums necessary for a child's education, including post-majority education.

Kentucky uses the Incomes Shares Model to determine child support. The child support obligation set forth in the child support guidelines table shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their combined monthly adjusted parental gross income.

After July 15, 1990, any new or modified order or decree that contains provisions for the support of a minor child or minor children must provide for an immediate wage assignment except when good cause can be shown.

Either or both parents may be ordered to provide a reasonable amount of child support, without regard to any marital misconduct, and based on the official Child Support Guidelines contained in the statute, which are contained at Kentucky Revised Statutes; Title 35, Chapters 403.210 to 403.212

Kentucky child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Kentucky child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative factors, such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.

These guidelines are presumed to be correct, but may be adjusted based on deviation factors. Once an amount is determined it is essential to look at any appropriate Kentucky child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation.

Kentucky uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is easy to do using the Kentucky child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

Calculate Kentucky Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare is considered a permissive deduction, and extraordinary medical expenses are considered a mandatory deduction.

Child Support Enforcement

The place to call for help with enforcement is the Kentucky Child Support Enforcement Hotline (1-800-248-1163), which can help locate a missing parent. Relevant information - his or her last known address, employer, support and paternity orders - is helpful. The Kentucky Child Support agency works with the IRS, the Department of Motor Vehicles, credit bureaus to find absent parents and collect support. Parents who are or were enrolled in such programs as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are automatically assisted by the agency.

Help includes paternity testing, support enforcement, locating missing parents, collection of back support, help with childcare and enforcement of health care coverage.

Failure to comply with Kentucky child support laws may result in the revocation of the driver's license or passport.

More information about Kentucky Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.


Kentucky's age of majority is 18. When a child reaches this milestone, he or she automatically becomes emancipated. The exception is a student who is in high school when he or she turns 18. In this case, a parent may have to continue paying support until the19th birthday or high school graduation, whichever happens first.

Kentucky allows a teenager to petition the court to declare his or her own emancipation from their parent. A successful appeal terminates parental obligation to pay support.

If a child is disabled and incapable of supporting him or herself, the parents must continue paying support on his or her behalf until he or she reaches age 21. A parent may have to continue to pay support if the divorce decree continues any proviso that overrides Kentucky's emancipation laws. For instance, if a party entered into a support order or divorce settlement where he or she agreed to pay child support until the child graduates from college, that agreement binds the party, whether or not he reaches the age of majority while still in school.

Deviation Factors

Courts may deviate from the guidelines where their application would be unjust or inappropriate. A written finding or specific finding, specifying the reason for the deviation, must accompany any deviation. Deviations are made based on reasons that include:

  • the child's extraordinary medical or dental needs;
  • a child's extraordinary educational, job training, or special needs;
  • either parent's own extraordinary needs, such as medical expenses;
  • the independent financial resources, if any, of the child or children;
  • the combined monthly adjusted parental gross income in excess of the Kentucky child support guidelines.

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