Back Child Support Laws and the Kentucky Statute of Limitations

By River Braun, J.D.

Back Child Support Laws and the Kentucky Statute of Limitations

By River Braun, J.D.

Even though they may not live together, the law requires parents to support their children financially. To ensure parents provide for their children, Kentucky enacted child support guidelines. The guidelines determine the amount each parent should contribute for their child's care and upkeep. Anyone who fails to pay court-ordered child support payments faces severe penalties.

Office supplies on a desk, including an open notebook with the words "pay child support!" written in pen

Child Support Calculations in Kentucky

The Kentucky legislature enacted Child Support Guidelines for calculating child support payments. These guidelines apply in most cases. Judges may deviate from the guidelines for good cause, but a judge must include the reason for the deviation in the child support order. Once a judge signs a child support order, the court only changes the obligation of the supporting parent if a party can prove a material change in circumstances that justifies modification.

Factors used in the calculation of child support payments include:

  • The gross income of both parents
  • A child's special needs
  • The number of children receiving support
  • A child's standard of living before the divorce
  • The custody arrangement
  • A child's medical, daycare, and other specific needs

Enforcing a Child Support Order

Until a court issues a child support order, a parent is not legally liable for nonpayment of child support. Once the court issues the order, though, the parent receiving the payments can take steps to enforce the order if the other falls behind on their obligation. One of the best ways to ensure that child support payments are received is to have the payments deducted from the paying parent's wages. However, a person may still fall behind on payments due to unemployment or self-employment.

A parent who should be receiving payments can contact their child support caseworker to discuss ways to enforce an order if the other parent fails to make the payments. There are several options for enforcing a child support order in Kentucky, including withholding funds from income tax refunds, suspending the person's driver's license, withholding income, intercepting lottery winnings, denial of a passport, and filing a court action. Employers are required to report newly hired employees to the Kentucky New Hire Reporting Center, which helps the state, courts, and parents enforce child support obligations.

Length of Time for Child Support in Kentucky

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, child support obligations typically end when the child turns 18. However, if the child attends high school, the support payments continue through the end of the school year in which the child turns 19. If the child support order includes more than one child, the obligation continues until the last child turns 18 (or 19 if in high school) unless the supporting parent files a motion seeking a modification or the order specifies an amount for each child.

The Statute of Limitations for back child support payments is 15 years from the expiration of the child support order. If the order covers more than one child, the deadline for collecting back payments is 15 years from the date the youngest child reaches 18 (or 19 if still in high school).

Even though a child reaches 18 or graduates high school, that does not mean that an obligation to pay child support ends. The state can take several actions to collect child support for many years after the order terminates. The county agency for child support services is often a great source of information and assistance in collecting back payments.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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