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Defining a change in circumstances

An important point to remember about divorce is that the obligation placed on separated parents in Richmond to pay child support is by no means meant to be punitive. Thus, if one obliged to pay such support experiences a dramatic change to his or her material circumstances, he or she may have the option to modify what is owed. Per information gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau, over $33.7 billion was due in child support in the U.S. in 2015 alone. Family court officials realize that those whose payments contribute to that amount cannot meet their obligations if fines and penalties are constantly assessed against them if they are already struggling to do so.

The law, therefore, offers the opportunity to modify a child support agreement in certain situations. However, some may think it difficult to define exactly what constitutes a change in circumstances. Some might view any increase in the salary of an obligor as justification to raise his or her child support payment, while obligors might look at factors outside their control (such as the current economic climate) as reasons why their payments should be lowered. Kentucky has dispelled the opportunity for discord over this matter by defining (in Section 403.213 of the state's Revised Statutes) a material change in circumstances to be whenever a change in what's owed due to the obligor's new financial situation would be greater or equal to 15 percent of the current mandated payment. 

Often, a change in circumstances might refer to a child's situation, such as him or her reaching the age of majority (in which case a child support obligation would end). Per state law, child support payments would only continue after a child has turned 18 if he or she has yet to complete high school.

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Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

225 West Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Toll Free: 800-494-9916
Phone: 859-353-0878
Fax: 859-623-6406
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P.O. Box 157
Richmond, KY 40476