2024 Kansas Child Support Guidelines- Version 2

The ink isn't dry on the new 2024 Kansas Child Support Guidelines, which became effective on Jan 1, 2024, but the guidelines are set to be revised again!

The committee has made more revisions to the 2024 version of the Kansas Child Support Guidelines and sent them to the Supreme Court for signature.  The Proposed 2024 (version 2) Guidelines can be read here.  Pursuant to CFR 302.56, the committee seeks public comment via Survey Monkey on the newly revised guidelines.  The process of soliciting feedback from the public occurs only after all changes have been approved by the committee and sent off to the Supreme Court for signature.  This is done to comply with Federal laws.

The latest issue of the guidelines correct several typos and references that made it out the door on issue 1.  Additionally, there are some substantive changes to the old Equal Parenting Time formula.  Here are a few highlights:

  • "Less than zero" language has been removed - Horray!
  • Changed the "Equal Parenting Time Formula" to "Direct Expense Formula"
  • Direct Expense Formula now assumes clothing is provided by each parent and is automatically included in the formula.  I recommended this change over a decade ago because it's not reasonable to assume one parent would ever provide clothing to both homes.  It's nice to see the committee has finally conceded.
  • Shared Expense Formula has been moved down in the guidelines for some reason.

For shared residency, parents now have two options, but both options are considered "Deviations to the Rebuttable Presumption," which was a change introduced in the first 2024 guidelines release.  The two calculation options for shared residency are the Shared Expense Formula (high-low)/2, and the Direct Expense Formula (high-low)/2 + Direct Expenses.  The later option is where the parent receiving support is responsible for paying for all direct expenses and reimbursing the other parent expenditures for the same.  The newly named SEF and DEF formulas are sure to be confusing for the next 4 years.

Note: the meeting minutes do not reflect that the committee ever approved making any shared residency formulas "Deviations to the Rebuttable Presumption."  Prior to 2024, calculations for shared residency were integral to the guidelines.  Now, by making them "Deviations," shared residency adjustments will require the judge make written findings to approve it.  If he/she's doesn't feel too inclined, he/she can simply have you receive a standard parenting time adjustment (which is quite a bit different).  It's possible the next guidelines review would involve the argument that since the shared residency forumulas are no longer used (because the committee made them harder to get approved), they should just be removed from the guidelines.  Hopefully that's not the progression.

My contention has always been that the Shared Expense Formula (high-low)/2 is the best calculation method for shared residential parents.  One argument against this is that "Dad doesn't have to pay enough."  Of course there is also the "but it forces the parents to share receipts" argument.  Both of these arguments are baseless.  The math works and parents can simply divvy up who pays for which Direct Expenses and never exchange any receipts.  This is something I call "Offsetting" expenses.  One parents pays for school lunches all year.  The other parent pays for all athletic camps all year.  Much less confusing and allows parents to stay involved in their kids's lives.

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