Many are surprised to learn that the Kansas Child Support Guidelines require parties to notify each other of changes in their child support obligations. If a party fails to provide notification of such a change to the opposing party, the opposing party could request the court assess sanctions and adjust child support payments accordingly. But, how do you know if your child support obligation has changed?
The Kansas Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee is the State entity responsible for child support obligation calculations and they author the Kansas Child Support Guidelines. The committee is composed primarily of family law attorneys who review the child support guidelines every four years per Federal law and draft any updates. The committee is overseen by the Supreme Court, who ultimately approves the guidelines and issues them via Supreme Court Order. If you'd like more information about the advisory committee, you can click this link to be directed to their web page.
Pursuant to Kansas law, all Kansas courts are required to apply the child support guidelines unless specific findings are made to deviate. The guidelines, however, are a rebuttable presumption as shown below.
"The calculation of the respective parental child support obligations on Line D.9 of the worksheet is a rebuttable presumption of a reasonable child support order. If a party alleges that the Line D.9 support amount is unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the party seeking the adjustment has the burden of proof to show that an adjustment should apply. If the court finds from relevant evidence that it is in the best interest of the child to make an adjustment, the court shall consider Section E of the Child Support Worksheet. The completion of Section E of the worksheet shall constitute the written findings for deviating from the rebuttable presumption."
Section V of the Kansas Child Support Guidelines (2016 Supreme Court Administrative Order 287) outlines the "Change of Circumstances" which allow automatic recalcualtion of child support.
V.B.1. 10% Rule
"Change of financial circumstances of the parents or the guidelines which would increase or decrease by 10% the amount shown on Line F.3 of the worksheet, except that the income from a second job taken by the parent not having primary residency shall not alone be considered a material change of circumstances to warrant a modification of the parent's child support obligation. Income from bonuses not shown to be regularly paid by the employer shall not be considered a material change of circumstances to warrant a modification of the parent's child support obligation. An increase in the gross income of the parent having primary residency is not a material change of circumstances for the purpose of increasing the child support obligation. A parent shall notify the other parent of any change of financial circumstances including, but not necessarily limited to, income, work related child care costs, and health insurance premiums which, if changed, could constitute a material change of circumstances."
V.B.2. Duty to Notify
"In the event of a failure to disclose a material change of circumstances, such as the understatement, overstatement, or concealment of financial information, as a result of such breach of duty, the court may determine the dollar value of a party's failure to disclose, and assess the amount in the form of a credit on the Line F.3 child support amount or an amount in addition to Line F.3 child support amount for a determinate amount of time. The court may also adopt other sanctions. Upon receipt of written request for financial information , a parent shall have thirty days with in which to provide the requested information in writing to the other parent. Refusal to provide the requested information may make the non-complying parent responsible for the costs and expenses, including attorney fees , incurred in obtaining the requested information."
V.B.3. Age Change
"The child is in a higher age group as a result of having passed the child 's 6th or 12th birthday, or because the child 's ages place them in the higher age group as a result in the change in the guidelines."
How do you know if your child support obligation has changed? Answer: You need to recalculate each parties' child support obligation applying the current child support guidelines. There are 3 options to recalculate child support obligations: 1.) call your attorney, 2.) perform all the calculations by hand, or 3.) use eFamilyTools. Our suggestion is to utilize both options 1 & 3. The reason is you cannot substitute the advice of a competent attorney and we highly suggest parties hire an attorney. Many Kansas attorneys use eFamilyTools to calculate child support. However, it helps to be informed of what factors affect child support obligations and sometimes folks make mistakes. To be sure of your child support calculation, you can calculate everything yourself which will help you have an informed discussion with your attorney. We make it very easy for you to accurately calculate your child support obligation and update your information whenever needed. That's why we're here.