Child support adjustments can increase or decrease child support amounts. There are several child support adjustments which may apply to your specific case. Here's a brief summary of the Kansas child support adjustments in effect in 2017.
Section E of the child support worksheet lists each child support adjustment available to parents. We will discuss each one. In general adjustments must be requested by one party or the other. The court may not automatically apply these adjustments to your case.
- Long Distance Parenting Time Adjustment - this adjustment is used to compensate a parent who incurrs travel expenses outside the norm to exercise his or her parenting time. One such example might be a parent who travels several hours per month to exercise parenting time. It should be noted that the term "long distance" is a relative term. It may be interpreted differently in your geographic region or even by different judges.
- Parenting Time Adjustment - this adjustment takes into consideradion the additional costs incurred by a nonresidential parent who exercises considerable parenting time. Parents with 35% to 39% parenting time receive a 5% reduction in their child support payment, parents with 40% to 44% parenting time receive a 10% reduction, and parents with 45% to 49% parenting time receive a 15% reduction.
- Income Tax Adjustment - it is generally accepted that when parents alternate claiming the children on their income taxes on an annual basis, the tax advantages to each parent are equivalent. When one or both parents do not want or cannot agree to alternate the tax advantages, an adjustment may be requested. If the parent paying child support is also the parent claiming the children on income taxes each year, an increase in child support may be applied. If the parent paying child support is the parent forfeiting or not claiming the children each year, child support may be reduced. The amount of the income tax adjustment is calculated by assessing the monthly value of a variety of tax deductions and credits. A few such tax advantages include the child tax credit, the personal exemption deduction, and the head of household adjustment.
- Special Needs Adjustment - this adjustment is designated for those families incurring expenses for a child with any type of special need. Since special needs come in many forms, we cannot accurately define them. A few examples provided in the guidelines include orthodontic care, special education, and therapy. Since these costs may vary periodically, a monthly average could be used for purposes of calculating child support.
- Agreement Past Majority - this adjustment is typically only used when the parents agree to support the child(ren) past the age of 18. Parents may agree to pay child support beyond the age of 18 as part of their divorce decree. If this agreement is not in place, or if this is a paternity case, this adjustment may not be used.
- Overal Financial Condition - the overall financial condition adjustment is used to make adjustments for any other expense, income, or other financial impact which may not already be considered in another section of the guidelines. Some courts rarely use this adjustment, while others may use it more frequently.