Back Child Support Laws and the Kentucky Statute of Limitations

By Beverly Bird

All states take collection of child support seriously, but Kentucky is particularly aggressive about pursuing parents who fall behind. The state is willing to take creative and extreme measures to convince noncustodial parents to catch up with their child support arrears. If an obligor parent doesn't pay, and when his arrears reach a certain point, Kentucky will charge him with a felony crime.

All states take collection of child support seriously, but Kentucky is particularly aggressive about pursuing parents who fall behind. The state is willing to take creative and extreme measures to convince noncustodial parents to catch up with their child support arrears. If an obligor parent doesn't pay, and when his arrears reach a certain point, Kentucky will charge him with a felony crime.

Establishment of an Order

A noncustodial parent can't get in trouble for nonpayment of support until a divorce decree is issued by the court, legally obligating him to pay child support. If parents don’t divorce but just live separately, the custodial parent can petition the court for a stand-alone support order, separate from a decree. Kentucky uses the income shares model for calculating child support: the court adds both parents' incomes together, a certain amount of the total is set aside for the children's needs, and each parent pays a portion of that amount commensurate with the percentage they contribute to the combined total income. The custodial parent pays for the children's needs directly; the noncustodial parent makes a cash payment toward the children's support.

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Income Withholding

After a Kentucky court issues a child support order, the custodial parent has the option of registering it with the state's Child Support Enforcement program for collection. If she doesn't, she typically must return to family court for enforcement if the noncustodial parent doesn't pay. If she does, the CSE initiates mandatory income withholding for all support orders it handles.

Enforcement Measures

A noncustodial parent may still fall behind with his support obligation if he's not regularly employed or is self-employed, making income withholding difficult or impossible. Both Kentucky law and federal law require all employers to report new hires to the state so the CSE can set up an income withholding order as soon as a noncustodial parent begins working. If this isn't possible and a parent falls behind anyway, Kentucky uses the standard support enforcement methods: the state will intercept tax refunds, suspend driver's and other licenses, arrange for passport denial, and seize bank accounts and other assets. If a parent falls six months behind, Kentucky will "boot" his vehicle by installing a device that makes it incapable of starting. The state also publishes notice of delinquencies in local newspapers, naming parents who attain or exceed six months' worth of arrears. Repeated refusal to pay is punishable by contempt of court charges that can involve jail time, and when arrears reach $2,000 or more, a nonpaying parent can be charged with a felony crime.

Statutes of Limitation

A child support order expires in Kentucky when the last child covered by it emancipates, moving beyond the need for financial support from his parents. When this happens, custodial parents still have time to collect arrears. They can go back to court and get a judgment against the noncustodial parent for the total amount owed. After this is accomplished, the parent has 15 years from the date the last child emancipated to use the judgment to try to collect.

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Alabama Child Support Arrears Laws

References

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Child Support Arrearage Laws for Oregon

In 2009, Oregon began taking a notably tough stance against parents who willfully refuse to pay child support; the Department of Justice arrested 21 non-custodial parents and subsequently collected more than $530,000 for their families. If you owe child support arrearages, although incarceration is usually Oregon's last resort to convince you to pay up, it can happen. Judgments for child support in this state are enforceable for 35 years after the date of your divorce decree, if your decree includes provisions for child support. Otherwise, the time begins running from the date of your support order.

Child Support Laws for Married Couples in the State of Georgia

Georgia parents are legally obligated to contribute financially to their child’s care, and married parents typically contribute without a court order. However, when parents divorce, courts generally enter divorce decrees that order one parent to pay a specific amount of child support to the other parent so children of the marriage continue to be provided for.

Wyoming Child Support Laws

When spouses divorce in Wyoming, they remain responsible for providing financial support for their children. To clarify each parent’s responsibilities, Wyoming courts enter child support orders as part of the terms of a divorce decree. Parents must comply with these orders or face significant penalties for nonpayment. However, if circumstances change, courts can modify the support order.

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