Kansas child support is determined by a set formula set up by the Kansas family courts. The Kansas Judicial Branch updated its child support guidelines on April 1, 2012.
These new guidelines are based upon many factors, including the number of children in the family, the length of time that each child spends with each parent, the income of each parent, income tax considerations, the parents’ expenses and other relevant factors.
Fortunately, once the parents fill out their child support forms, there is software for accurately and efficiently crunching all these numbers. Part of a Kansas divorce lawyer’s job is to calculate the prospective child support and inform his or her client of how much it should be.
New Spouse and Public Assistance
In calculating child support, changes in circumstances, such as remarriage, will affect support later on.
The income earned by a new spouse is not considered income. Income from public assistance and child support received for other children living in the residence are not considered part of the gross income of that parent.
Kansas Child Support in the 50/50 Custody Scenario
Kansas law allows for 50/50 custody, meaning that each parent can have the children roughly 50 percent of the time.
In this arrangement, child support is adjusted downward, and each parent, basically, pays for his or her portion of the expenses related to the children while the children are physically within their care. If one parent makes more money on the job than the other parent, support becomes proportionate to the income discrepancy.
The Child Care Question
The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) reports that daycare expenses (per child) amount to somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,666 a year, or $972 per month.
Kansas is one of the least costly states for daycare with an average daycare payout — per child — of $4,000 to 7,000 per year or $300 to $583 per month.
The Kansas legislature says the following regarding childcare:
“Actual, reasonable, and necessary child care costs paid to permit employment or job search of a parent should be added to the support obligation. ‘Paid’ means the net amount after deducting any third party reimbursements. The court has the discretion to determine whether proposed or actual child care costs are reasonable, taking into consideration the income and circumstances of each of the parties. The monthly figure is the averaged annual amount, including variations for summer.”
Healthcare expenses, dental/orthodontic expenses, and optometric costs are also included in all Kansas child support calculations.
“Extraordinary expenses,” such as sports uniforms and travel costs, private school costs, music lessons and other extracurricular activities are also taken into account.
There will be financial penalties for a parent who fails to disclose a “material change in financial circumstances.” So, it is always best to accurately disclose all financial information to the Kansas Family Court.
Child Support is Not Tied to Seeing the Children
As long as parenting time is specified for each parent, a mother cannot legally prevent a father from seeing their child even if he is behind in his child support payments.
Payment of child support should never be used as a bargaining chip for parenting time. Any dad whose ex-wife limits visitation because child support is in arrears should see a family law attorney at his earliest convenience.
The court may grant a reduction in child support payments or provide some other remedy for getting back on track. A dad with partial custody or court-ordered visitation always has the right to see his child.
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.