# Kentucky Child Support Calculator

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Support obligation will be set at the court's discretion if combined income is more than \$30,000.

Not in Kentucky? Use your location's child support calculator.

Courts often use wrong parenting time estimates when calculating child support, which could make your child support either too high or too low.

Custody X Change calculates parenting time accurately, so your child support will have the fairest outcome for your kids.

## Kentucky child support & parenting time calculations

Child support payments are made by one parent to the other to ensure their child's needs are met. When a judge orders you to pay child support, it's your responsibility and your child's right.

In Kentucky, child support is owed until a child turns 18 or — as long as they continue to attend high school — through the school year in which they turn 19. If they're disabled, support is owed until they're 21.

The Custody X Change calculator above gives you a sense of what you may pay or receive.

## The basics of calculating child support

Kentucky's formula considers these main factors:

• How many children you have. This is the number of children this support order will cover.
• The number of days. Calculate how many days you'll have your child for more than 12 hours. See below for how to do this automatically.
• Incomes. Indicate how much each of you earns. Child support you pay for other kids, as well as any spousal maintenance (alimony) you pay, is deducted from your income.
• Expenses. Indicate who pays for your child's health insurance and child care — and how much.

Court-ordered parenting time reduces the amount of support a parent pays, as long as they have at least 73 days a year and the child doesn't receive public assistance. The more parenting time, the greater the payment reduction — up to a 50 percent reduction if they have equal time.

## How to calculate the payment

To quickly estimate the child support you'll pay or receive, use the calculator at the top of this page. You can also use the state's child support calculator.

To calculate the exact amount of child support recommended for your case, fill out one of these worksheets:

Keep in mind that your support order will require one parent (or both) to pay for the child's health insurance. If you hire someone for child care, it will also specify who pays for that.

## When a different amount may be ordered

If the parent who pays is underemployed, the court may choose a support amount based on their potential income, so avoiding work probably won't help them lower their payment.

Nonetheless, child support isn't supposed to leave a parent unable to support themself. They're allowed to keep a certain amount of their own income; this is called a self-support reserve.

For parents who together earn over \$30,000 per month, there's no guideline. The judge reviews these situations to determine what's fair, especially if the parents disagree.

The court may find other reasons to adjust the support amount, like unusually high medical expenses. In these situations, the judge explains in writing why following the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate.

## How to seek child support

Someone who has physical custody of a child can request child support from a parent who lives or works in Kentucky.

### Through the state

Either parent can apply on paper or apply online to Child Support Enforcement.

If a state lawyer is assigned to your case, they will represent Kentucky, not either parent.

If you're pregnant, wait until your child is born before you apply. You can apply without knowing who the father is, but your case may take longer while Child Support Enforcement helps you establish paternity. Learn more through the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

### Through the court

Another way to get a support order is through a court case. If you open a divorce or custody case, child support is part of that case.

You can hire your own lawyer. The court may try to encourage you to settle. If you can't, a judge decides.

## If both of you agree on an amount

When parents agree on a support amount, the judge may approve their agreement — sometimes even excusing them from submitting financial disclosures.

However, some judges tend to reject proposals that deviate from the Kentucky guidelines and will use your financial disclosures to calculate the standard amount. Judges also reject proposals that seem unfair to the child.

## Paying and receiving support

Once you have a support order, you can log on to Kentucky Child Support for information about your case.

Many parents pay through income withholding (that is, the funds are taken out of their paycheck). Others pay through the website, and some mail a check.

### If you receive KTAP or similar public assistance

If the custodial parent has ever received public assistance like KTAP, Kentucky's Child Support Enforcement Agency will collect the funds from one parent and distribute them to the other parent. The government may keep some of the support it collects.

If a parent doesn't pay, the state can ask the court to hold them in contempt, take money from their bank account or tax refund, suspend a driver's license or passport, or file criminal charges.

### If you don't receive public assistance

If the custodial parent has never received public assistance, you may be allowed to pay the other parent directly rather than using the state payment center.

If a parent doesn't pay, it's up to the two of you to work it out. You may speak directly, hire a mediator or return to court to enforce payment.

## Changing a support order

When you request a change, the new amount will be based on the latest child support guidelines.

### If the state manages your payments

In this case, either parent may request a review of the support order once every three years. The state notifies you when it's time.

Additionally, you may request a review any time a parent has a financial change like a big raise or a job loss. You may be granted a review if you have another reason to believe a recalculation would be in your child's best interests.

### If you pay the other parent directly

In this case, you have to go to court to request a new amount. You should only do this if a parent's financial situation has changed significantly.

## If you're struggling to pay

If you're having trouble affording child support, speak to the support office so they know you're trying your best. You may learn that you qualify for a review to lower your support amount.

Left unpaid, child support becomes a debt called an arrearage. The parent who owes it can be ordered to pay interest on it as well.

If you believe your obligation has ended, notify the state agency or the court. Your support order may not end automatically.

## Calculating parenting time accurately

Estimating parenting time can impact your support order by thousands of dollars a year.

The Custody X Change app lets you quickly and accurately calculate your exact parenting time.

In Kentucky, a day of parenting time is defined as more than 12 consecutive hours in a 24-hour period. This usually involves an overnight stay, so look at your annual overnight count in Custody X Change.

In the rare case that you have visits that last 12 hours or less but span two days, temporarily delete them for the calculation. If you have visits that last more than 12 hours but don't span two days, temporarily extend each one into the next day by clicking and dragging.

Your overnight count will immediately reflect each parent's days with the child per Kentucky's method of counting.

Whether you are the one paying or receiving child support, use Custody X Change to make sure your parenting time calculation is exact. The number will affect you, your child and the other parent for years to come.

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