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Child Support FAQs

Jeffers Law Office Dec. 12, 2023

Understanding child support laws and working through the related legal proceedings can often feel overwhelming. You're not alone if you find yourself inundated with questions. Jeffers Law Office can assist you. Located in Overland Park, Kansas, and serving clients throughout Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, and Leawood, this firm is well-versed in all aspects of family law, including child support.  

With over 40 years of experience, Mark Jeffers, the attorney at the firm, is committed to providing compassionate and effective representation. Whether you're curious about how child support is calculated or wondering if modifications are possible, Jeffers Law Office is here to guide you through the complexities, offering personalized attention every step of the way. Let's delve into some of the most frequently asked questions about child support in Kansas, shedding light on this critical aspect of family law. 

1. How Is Child Support Calculated in Kansas? 

In Kansas, child support isn't just an arbitrary number pulled out of thin air. Instead, it's calculated based on the Kansas Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines consider various factors, such as both parents' income, the number of children involved, and the amount of time each parent spends with the kids. The court then uses a specific formula to determine the appropriate child support amount.

Bear in mind that these calculations can get quite intricate. That's why it's a good idea to consult with a seasoned family law attorney. They'll help ensure the calculations are done accurately, potentially saving you from future headaches. 

2. Can Child Support Be Modified? 

Life is unpredictable, and circumstances change. In such cases, you might wonder if child support orders can be modified. The answer is yes. If there's a significant change in circumstances—like a substantial increase or decrease in income or a change in the child's needs—a modification may be necessary. To request a modification, you'll need to file a motion with the court and provide evidence of the changed circumstances. 

An attorney can guide you through this process, helping you present a strong case to the court. Remember, it's not just about getting a modification; it's about ensuring the modification is fair and just. 

3. What Happens If a Parent Fails to Pay Child Support? 

If a parent shirks their responsibility and fails to pay child support as ordered, the law isn't powerless. The Kansas Child Support Services (CSS) can step in to enforce child support orders. They can take actions like wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, suspension of driver's licenses, and even bring contempt of court charges.

If you're not receiving the child support payments you're entitled to, it's crucial to seek legal help. A family law attorney can help enforce the order, ensuring your child's financial well-being is protected. 

4. Can Child Support Be Terminated Before the Child Turns 18? 

In Kansas, child support typically continues until the child hits 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens later. However, there are exceptions where child support may end earlier. For instance, if the child becomes emancipated or gets married before turning 18, child support obligations may cease.

Again, consulting with an attorney is crucial here. They can help you understand the specific circumstances that may lead to the termination of child support. 

5. What If the Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support? 

If the non-custodial parent flat-out refuses to pay child support, the law doesn't leave you helpless. As mentioned earlier, the CSS can help enforce child support orders. It's important to gather evidence of the non-payment and consult with an attorney to explore your legal remedies. 

An attorney can guide you through the legal labyrinth, ensuring the non-custodial parent meets their financial obligations. 

6. Can Child Support Be Modified Retroactively? 

In Kansas, child support modifications can only be effective from the date the motion to modify is filed with the court. This means child support can't be modified retroactively to a date before the motion's filing. Therefore, it's critical to file a motion to modify child support as soon as you believe a modification is warranted. Delaying the filing could result in missed payments or overpayment. 

Reach Out for Answers Today 

Figuring out child support can be complex, but you don't have to do it alone. The family law attorney at Jeffers Law Office is here to help. With his experience and knowledge in family law, he can guide you through each step of the process, ensuring your rights and your child's interests are protected.