The 2021 Kentucky Legislative Session resulted in several family law statute changes. Many of these changes directly effect child support obligations in Kentucky. The main acts passed were House Bill (HB) 404 and HB 402.
House Bill 404
HB 404, which was a bipartisan update to child support laws, was unanimously passed by the House and signed into law in March. This update modifies Kentucky’s child support guidelines to be more in line with Federal guidelines.
HB 404 makes several changes to child support in Kentucky, as follows:
KRS 403.211, subsection (9) modifies how extraordinary medical expenses are allocated.
KRS 403.212, subsection (2)(d) modifies the “self-support” reserve.
KRS 403.212, subsection (2)(e) modifies how imputation of income is applied to incarcerated individuals and those who are providing care for children aged three (3) or less.
KRS 403.212, subsection (7) modifies the guidelines and extends the maximum combined monthly adjusted gross income used in calculating child support.
A new Section of KRS 403 creates statutes addressing parenting time adjustments to child support obligations.
House Bill 402
HB 402, is an act addressing flagrant non-support in Kentucky. It modifies KRS 530.050.
HB 402 changes the threshold for someone to be charged with flagrant non-support from $1,000 to $2,500.
Paternity Actions - KRS 406.031
Previously, if a paternity action was initiated before a child turned four (4) years of age, child support could be backdated to the birth of the child.
KRS 406.031(1) was modified so that the paternity action has to be initiated before the child turns two (2) years of age.
Temporary Removal – KRS 620.090
This legislative session added the requirement that when an order for temporary removal of a child is entered, it will also initiate an action to establish child support.
It also requires that any existing child support order be modified within seven (7) days of entry of the temporary removal order.
Why Do Laws Change?
The law is an always changing creation of statutes and caselaw. New statutes are passed regularly then interpreted by caselaw from Circuit, Appeals and Supreme Court rulings.
This actual serves a needed purpose, because law needs to be open to growth and change as society, culture and individuals change.
If statutes could not be updated or new statutes created then a state or country's laws would quickly become outdated and stagnant.
Changes in Family Law
Family law, also known as domestic relations law, is especially subject to change and growth. This is demonstrated by the recent changes not only in how child support is calculated, but in changes to custody and timesharing laws.
This makes it especially important to stay in contact with an experienced family law attorney while your children are still minors. This will enable you to stay up to date on all your options as domestic relations law changes, even if you don’t have any active cases before the court.