Child support is an important obligation that exists between parents and children after a divorce. It is the payment of money from both parents for the costs of raising their children and is based on guidelines established by the state of Kentucky. Parents who earn higher incomes generally pay more in child support than their lower earning counterparts.
When child support is computed, is based on the gross incomes of the parents. Gross income represents all income that parents each earn or collect, and adjustments can be made to their gross incomes in certain conditions. This post will introduce some examples of when gross income may be altered during child support computations, but no part of this post should be read as financial or legal advice.
Gross income adjustments for existing support obligations
In some situations, a divorcing parent may have children from their ending marriage but also children that they support from prior relationships. When a parent is subject to a child support obligation, their income may be reduced by the amount of money that they pay to satisfy that obligation. Similarly, prior orders of support for previous spouses may also be used to reduce gross income for a person bound by such a mandate.
Unemployment and child support
A difficult situation can arise when a parent is unemployed or underemployed and obligated to pay child support. If a parent is not employed to their full potential, their potential income, being that which they would earn if they were fully employed, is used for their gross income computations. However, if a parent is unemployed or underemployed due to disability, incapacitation, or custody of a small child, then they will not be held to the potential income standard.
Child support is a legal obligation imposed on both parents after a divorce. Getting a fair and reasonable breakdown of support is critical to ensuring that children have what they need when their parents are no longer together. A dedicated family law attorney can help their divorce client work through this and other important issues during their divorce proceedings.