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Kentucky Child Support Guidelines

If a child is living with only one of his or her parents, then the non-custodial parent (the parent who the child isn't living with) is generally required to pay child support to the custodial parent (the parent that the child lives with). Family courts determine how much money must be paid in child support based on state specific child support guidelines. The following chart highlights the main aspects of Kentucky's child support guidelines.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 403.212: Child Support Guidelines

Child Support Obligation

The child support obligation, determined by the child support guideline table, is divided between the parents in proportion to their "combined monthly adjusted parental gross income."

The minimum amount of child support is $60 per month.

The court can use its judicial discretion to determine child support obligations if the parents' gross income exceed the uppermost levels of the guideline table.

"Combined Monthly Adjusted Parental Gross Income"

A couple's combined adjusted gross income is the gross incomes of both parents, minus any of the following payments made by a parent:
  • Pre-existing support orders to prior spouses (to the extent that the payment is actually paid)
  • Pre-existing child support orders for prior-born children (to the extent that the payment is actually made)
  • Support paid for prior-born children that a parent is legally responsible for but doesn't have a court order dictating child support

How Gross Income Is Calculated When A Parents in Unemployed

If a parent is employed to full capacity then his or her actual gross income is used for the calculations listed in the table above. However, if a parent is unemployed or underemployed then the parent's "potential income" is used. Potential income is based on the parent's employment potential, probable earnings (based on the parent's recent work history), occupational qualifications, and job opportunities in the community.

It should also be noted that potential income isn't used for unemployed or underemployed parents in three situations: if the parent is physically incapacitated, mentally incapacitated, or is caring for a child that is three years old or younger that the parents owe a joint legal responsibility to.

Split Custody

Kentucky defines a "split custody arrangement" to be a situation where each parent is the residential custodian for one (or more children) whom the parents share a joint legal responsibility for.

The following steps are used to determine the child support obligation when the parents have a split custody arrangement:

  • Step 1: Prepare two separate child support obligation worksheets (one for each household, using the number of children born out of the relationship in each household).
  • Step 2: The non-custodial parent with the greater monthly obligation pays the difference between the obligation amounts (from the two worksheets) to the other parent.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Kentucky's child support guidelines contact a local family law attorney.

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