By:  N. Jeffrey Blankenship

Federal Law requires every state to adopt statutory guidelines relative to the payment of child support, as between parents after their marriage or relationship has been dissolved. The purpose of child support is for the benefit of children, so courts are very protective of child support obligations.

Child support obligations take on many forms, i.e., the payment of a monthly amount for the basic living expenses of the child (this is generally intended to include housing, food, and clothing), as well as work or education-related childcare expenses, health insurance and medical care.

Child support obligations generally end in Kentucky after a child attains the age of 18 AND has completed high school. There are circumstances where this obligation can, however, be lengthened, such as where the child is disabled and wholly dependent on the parents.

The Kentucky Assembly has recently passed new guidelines which may affect the amount of existing, a well as new, child support orders.

Many people are surprised, for example, to learn that maintaining health insurance coverage for a child in Kentucky, until that child turns 25, may be compulsory under many circumstances intended to encourage and assist a child furthering his or her education. The statutes in Kentucky require the following language in any decree dissolving a marriage:

“. . . if the designated parent's health care coverage provides for covered services for dependent children beyond the age of majority, then any unmarried children up to twenty-five (25) years of age who are full-time students enrolled in and attending an accredited educational institution and who are primarily dependent on the insured parent for maintenance and support shall be covered.”

Accumulated arrearages and ongoing obligations for child support are not debts dischargeable in bankruptcy.

If you are the payor or recipient of child support, it would be wise to seek counsel’s advice as to the amount and duration of that obligation. A court retains jurisdiction over all such obligations until the child is no longer subject to support; a court may change that obligation anytime there has been a “substantial change in circumstances,” and any modification is retroactive to the date the modification is requested by one of the parents.

Please contact Ziegler & Schneider today at (859) 426-1300, or Contact Us here, if you have any questions or concerns about child support.  We look forward to helping you!

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Covington, KY 41017-5710

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