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Under Kentucky law, both parents of a minor child are responsible for providing financial support for his or her needs. Whether you are considering a divorce or you were never married to the child’s other parent and live separately, the calculation of child support in Kentucky is based on a number of factors.

These are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the child support system in Kentucky.

How does Kentucky calculate child support?

Parents can use the state’s interactive online worksheet to calculate estimated child support payments that they will receive from or will be responsible for making to the other parent. Child support payment amounts depend on the following factors:

  • The income of each parent
  • The number of children
  • Whether either parent is currently supporting children from another relationship
  • Court-ordered spousal support payments
  • Childcare costs
  • Health insurance premium costs for the child
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent

Typically, the noncustodial parent must pay child support to the custodial parent. However, arrangements may vary if the noncustodial parent has significant visitation.

How do I apply for child support?

Complete the request form for child support services through the Kentucky Child Support Program. You can access this online or in person at your local state agency. An annual service fee deduction of $25 will come out of future child support payments.

What happens after I apply?

In the case of a father who has not signed the birth certificate, you must establish paternity either voluntarily or through a court-ordered DNA test. Then, the state will establish a child support order based on the factors above. Child support is deducted directly from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck, and the custodial parent can receive it on a direct debit card.

When a parent fails to pay child support after a court order, the state may pursue him or her. Enforcement actions can include seizure of future tax refunds, a lien on future income and driver’s license and/or passport suspension.