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Child Support Retroactive

Once your Child Custody or Divorce case is filed in Louisville Family Court, most clients want to know when will they begin receiving or paying child support.  Even after child support is originally set, it may be modified by agreement or Order.  So the next question is “On what date does child support change?”

First, you need to know that there are two (2) types of child support: 1) Temporary or Pendente Lite and 2) Permanent.  Both are modifiable upon a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.  Second, the answer on effective dates is found in the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

After a Divorce, Legal Separation, or Child Custody Petition is filed, and service of the Summons is made on the Respondent, a Motion for Temporary Child Support or Pendente Lite Child Support may be made.  If the Respondent is provided notice of the Motion, then Kentucky Family Court should make a ruling within fourteen (14) days of the Motion, and the Temporary Child Support will be effective on the date the Motion was made.  KRS 403.160(2)(a).  If the Respondent is not provided notice because of special circumstances, then child support becomes effective on the seventh day after the Motion, Affidavit and and Order are served on the Respondent unless the Respondent files a written objection, in which case the ultimate Child Support Order becomes effective on the date the original Motion for Pendente Lite Child Support was filed.  KRS 403.160(2)(b).

Permanent Child Support is something of a misnomer.  Permanent Child Support is the level of Child Support set by Louisville Family Court when the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, or Child Custody is entered.  It is a misnomer because it is modifiable and, absent special needs, terminates upon the eighteenth birthday of the youngest child in question (or completion of high school if the child completes high school before his or her nineteenth birthday).  Permanent Child Support is also modifiable.

When a Motion to Increase Child Support or a Motion to Decrease Child Support is filed, the party making the Motion must show Kentucky Family Court that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances occurred.  If Child Support is set under the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines, a substantial and continuing change in circumstances presumably occurs if child support goes up or down by fifteen (15) percent or more.  The new level of child support is retroactive to the date upon which the Motion to Increase Child Support or Motion to Decrease Child Support was made.  KRS 403.213(1) and  (2).

If you want to know more, please take a look at this article or this article for the basics of how a divorce begins or just give me a call. Also, please feel free to learn more at or or if you are not ready to talk.  Thanks for reading.

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