Child support, in Kentucky, is based on what’s known as the Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support Guidelines are followed up to a certain level of income. It’s a graduated scale that goes all the way up to $15,000 per month. It lays out the child support obligation for one, two, three, four, five, and six children, and the court follows the schedule. If the parents’ combined income exceeds the top end of the Child Support Guidelines, the argument for child support becomes a needs-based argument. The needs-based argument is based upon whether or not the children have monthly needs and how much those monthly needs cost, on a line item budgetary formula.
Child support is meant for food, shelter, and clothing. It is important to note that when one parent has ongoing monthly obligations for those same items, they’re permitted to carve out what part of the food, shelter, and clothing is for the children versus themselves. That needs-based argument is a very important argument if they exceed the guideline schedule. The court will consider the total combined parental income. More likely than not, if both parents make the same amount of income, then their financial obligation would be 50/50.
If one parent made $100,000 a year and the other parent only made $20,000 a year, then their financial obligations would be 80/20. The statutes in Kentucky outline what is income and that income is totaled up and divided by 12 and then plugged into the child support worksheet. The issue about child support and earnings is that our statute requires earning the capacity to be looked at. A lot of times, in divorces, one parent will become under-employed. They’ll quit their job and go on unemployment, or they’ll change jobs to affect what the ultimate child support earning number is. The court can be brought into that equation and say that the earning capacity exceeds what they’re reporting as earnings, therefore child support will be set on an amount based upon the earning capacity instead of the specific earnings.
How Are Spousal Support Matters Handled In Kentucky?
Spousal support is another component of divorce and is also a needs-based argument. Spousal support in today’s world is different than it was 20 years ago. There were a lot more mothers who were not working. They did not have the earning capacity that the husbands had. In those times, spousal support was regularly something that people would have to consider when they were going through a divorce. Today, there are husbands who stay home and give up their careers to take care of the children and the house, and they could also be potentially claiming spousal support.
In today’s world, about only 1% of all women in the workforce make over $100,000 a year. Generally speaking, husbands make more money than wives. You have to consider all of these factors in whether or not to make a claim for spousal support in a divorce setting. It’s important that we look at spousal support as something that must be discussed thoroughly with an attorney in reference to whether or not it’s going to be a claim. If so, it’s going to be based upon the statutory scheme of the standard of living to which this family had, and the wife’s ability to support herself or the husband’s ability to support himself. There is no automatic schedule when it comes to spousal support in Kentucky.
For more information on Child Support Matters In A Divorce In KY, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (859) 341-2500 today.