Child Support Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
Children cost money. They need shelter, food, clothing, transportation, and medical care, among other basic items. Because they are essential to a child’s health and well-being, Kansas law holds both parents responsible for providing financial support for their children.
If you have been attempting to support your child on your own, if you are considering or starting divorce proceedings, or if you want to establish child support from the other parent, regardless of whether that parent acknowledges the child or not, you should know how the process works.
For more than four decades, the family law attorney at Jeffers Law Office has been helping parents like you in Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee, Prairie Village, and throughout Johnson County, Kansas. You can count on them to help them help your child as well.
What Should I Know About Child Support in Kansas?
The answer to the question, How is child support calculated? is complicated. Kansas courts are required to follow the Kansas child support guidelines by supreme court rule. The combined and separate income of each parent, the ages of the children and the number of children in the family, along with the needs of the children form the basis of the calculation. To begin, each parent’s gross income is determined, then possibly adjusted by certain factors. For example, a parent may have other children they are required to support, spousal support they pay, or other extraordinary expenses they are already covering, such as health insurance for the child and work related daycare.
The adjusted incomes of both parents are added together, then divided to arrive at each one’s percentage of the combined income. A number of other factors are considered before a child support sum is determined. This includes such facts as the ages and needs of the children, each parent’s relevant expenses, and the parenting time schedule.
The child support arrangement is inexorably linked to the child custody agreement. There is a presumption that the parent with primary physical custody of the children is contributing financially to support their daily needs. Therefore, the parent without primary custody is the one who pays child support.
Because a parent’s income is so central to calculating child support, some will attempt to voluntarily reduce their income to avoid paying what they should. For example, a parent might quit their job or take one that pays far less than they could earn. In that case, the court will impute that parent’s income. The amount used in the calculation will be what the parent should be earning, not necessarily what they are if they have become voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
Can an Existing Child Support Agreement Be Changed?
Either parent can file a Motion for child support modification with the court. However, the request must be warranted by a significant change in circumstances. Such material changes include the loss of a job, a deteriorating health condition, a significant increase in income, an assumption of financial responsibility for other children, the passage of at least three years since child support was last determined or modified, and the child moving into the next age bracket.
A child support order might also be modified if the actual custody arrangement changes. For example, a child begins spending more time with the noncustodial parent than the custodial parent.
Just remember that a child support agreement is a court order. As such, it must be complied with unless and until that order is modified by the court.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Child support in Kansas terminates upon the death of the child, or if the child joins the military, marries, or becomes an emancipated minor prior to reaching the age of 18. Otherwise, the support obligation terminates when the child turns 18 and has graduated from high school. However, in certain cases, such as when a child cannot live independently when they reach the age of majority, due to disability or health status, the court could order child support for a longer period.
Termination of child support is not automatic. The parent paying support must petition the court for termination of the order and must continue complying with the existing order until it is modified.
Child Support Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
This provides some of the basic information about child support in Kansas. If you face dealing with child support in a divorce or want to establish child support with the other parent, you probably have more questions than answers. The child support attorneys at Jeffers Law Office can help. Call Jeffers Law Office in Overland Park, Kansas today for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your situation. Call now.