New Kansas child support guidelines went into effect in April 2012 after approval by the Kansas Supreme Court.
Here are some of the highlights.
The “Equal Parenting Time Formula” was revised significantly. The 20 percent parenting time adjustment for equal time-sharing (without expense sharing) was eliminated. A surcharge of 13 percent to 18 percent was imposed on the non-expense sharing equal time parent. New support schedules were implemented that, overall, increased levels of support.
Now, incarceration and/or job loss for misconduct can no longer be grounds for modifying child support obligations. A numeric standard for the apportionment of birth expenses was created, and this is 5 percent of a parent’s annual gross income.
Parents may apportion (split) between themselves “extraordinary” or “special-needs” expenses as additional child support. These extraordinary and/or special-needs expenses would cover, for example, tuition for private school, competitive sports, and instruction in the arts.
The court may assess and impose financial penalties against any parent who fails to voluntarily disclose material changes in financial circumstances. This would include changes in income, health insurance premiums, and work-related childcare costs.
Current Child Support Orders May Be Recalculated
Because these changes are so substantial, current Kansas child support orders may reflect miscalculated amounts. If a discrepancy of at least 10 percent exists, this then becomes a material change in circumstances such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Parents will need to run a new child support worksheet under the new guidelines. Depending upon the results, parents may want to petition the court for a change in their child support orders to take advantage of the new Kansas child support guidelines.
Understanding Kansas Child Support Guidelines
At first glance, the new child support guidelines may seem confusing and complicated. But a Kansas child support attorney can fully explain the basics to anyone who feels that he may have to pay more (or less) in child support because of this new formula.
In short, child support obligations have many variables, such as income, business expenses, child support obligations for other children, and other court-ordered maintenance.
After these variables are calculated, a parent’s child support income is reflected. The number of children will be considered in addition to the ages of the children. Later, health insurance premiums, dental premiums, work-related childcare expenses, and other variables are factored into the formula.
The Bottom Line
Parents are required to pay a proportional amount of their child support obligation, depending on their child support income (mentioned above). In other words, if a father earns 60 percent of both parents’ combined gross income, and his wife earns 40 percent of their combined income, this means that the child support obligation will be shared 60 percent and 40 percent.
The Good News
Under these new child support guidelines, most re-married, support-paying dads are pleased to learn that the income of their new spouse is not considered income. Neither is child support received for other children in the home. Public assistance income is not considered either.
The best thing that a dad can do when presented with a motion to change an existing child support order is to make an appointment with a family law attorney to crunch the numbers and determine how much more or less he will have to pay.
Kansas Child Support Lawyer
If you are a man facing divorce, please consult with a Kansas divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction to assist you with your child support issue. Cordell & Cordell has offices and family law attorneys located in Overland Park should you seek additional information or possible legal representation.