Child Support Reduction if you are receiving Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement.

Not everyone knows that if you have minor children and are either receiving SSDI or  Social Security Retirement you may receive credit against your child support obligation for independent payments received by your minor child.

Make sure that when you become eligible for social security that you go to the Courthouse or the child support office to make changes to your child support obligation.  In Kentucky there is no retroactive modification.

Children whose parents are disabled and or receive social security retirement income are entitled to draw a derivative benefit. This is considered an independent resource of the child and reduces your child support obligation.

Sensitive Deadlines: You should contact the Social Security Administration to find out about any retroactive benefits which you may have missed for your children.

According to the Social Security Administration, under certain circumstances benefits can be paid  to a stepchild, grandchild, step- grandchild, or adopted child.

To get benefits, a child must have either:
A parent who is retired or has a disability and is entitled to Social Security benefits.
A parent who died after working long enough and having paid Social Security taxes.

KRS 403.212  Gross incomeincludes income from any source, except as excluded in this subsection, and includes but is not limited to income from salaries, wages, retirement and pension funds, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits,
disability insurance benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), gifts,prizes, and alimony or maintenance received.

Specifically excluded are benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, including but not limited to public assistance as defined under Title IV-A of the Federal Social Security Act, and food stamps.


SEE  KRS 403.211 (15) A payment of money received by a child as a result of a parental disability shall be credited against the child support obligation of the parent. A payment shall not be counted as income to either parent when calculating a child support obligation. An amount received in excess of the child support obligation shall be credited against a child support arrearage owed by the parent that accrued subsequent to the date of the parental disability, but shall not be applied to an arrearage that accrued prior to the date of disability. The date of disability shall be as determined by the paying

If you are the custodial parent of a child make sure to explore these options when applying for SSDI or retirement income. Also explore this option as soon as you learn that the other parent has applied.

If you need to modify your child support up or down and need legal advise, contact the Aleksander Law Office, PLLC Attorney Anna Aleksander at 502-589-0816. Modification of child support requires a Motion. Remember even though you may get credit for arrearages for SSDI or Social Secuirity Retirement retroactive to the date of your disability, the same rule does not apply to parents who do not receive social security benefits.  Child support modifications are not retroactive and a modification maybe warranted if there has been a material change in circumstances. At least a 15% change in support amount creates a rebuttable presumption  of the change. Likewise with the new time-sharing child support laws, a change in time sharing that results in at least a (+) or (-) 15 parenting days can be grounds for child support modification in Kentucky.

Written by Anna Aleksander, Attorney. Disclaimer: This article does not contain legal advise and may not be up to date. 2023



After many many years of total inactivity, the Kentucky Legislature changed the child support laws in Kentucky and updated them to comport with the changing times recently changing the guidelines and amounts of child support and on March 31, 2023 updating the formula used to calculate support.

 The new child support law went into effect on March 31st, 2023. It appears that there is now a new child support worksheet that  looks different than it did before. I predict it will be a big mess for a while, and will take some time for most lawyers to get used to the new support worksheet. The changes are not major but here are some things you should know if you want to modify your child support.

First, you never know whether or not modifying will benefit you or not. As such I strongly advise asking a lawyer first.  Second, the most important change is allowing credit to  parents for shared parenting time. Note and this is very important! There is no retroactive modification of child support in Kentucky. You must modify as soon as you think you need to lower your payments if you are the (obligated parent) or increase them if you are the (recipient). You can only modify if there has been a material change in circumstances such that there is at least a 15% difference in the support amount. When there is at least 15% change and it is continuing then  its time to revisit your child support obligations.

New Laws that give non-custodial parent some credit do not apply if the child is receiving public assistance.

When can a non-custodial parent get credit for their parenting time? The new law requires 1) consistent exercise of parenting time and 2) at least 73 days per year. Day is defined as 12  consecutive hours in a 24 hour period. I am paraphrasing the statute here so if you want to see the law please read KRS 403.2121.

 Assuming that a parent exercises visitation of every other weekend and such days add up to 73 (12 hour periods) then that parent may get a reduction in the child support due.   The more parenting time exercised with the child the bigger the credit. Also it’s important to note that the parenting time must be “court ordered or approved.”  What this will mean exactly is not certain, but  it may mean that a formal modification maybe required. I can anticipate a scenario where one parent fails to make a motion to modify relying on a verbal agreement of the other party or thinking that they can go to court later and use “shared parenting time” as a defense when they fall behind on their child support. Maybe that will be the case, however, that’s not how the statute reads. After all it has always been a defense if arrears accrue but because there is no retroactive modification, the new language appears to call for a formal modification  by stating that  parenting time must be court ordered or approved. Maybe the term approved will mean -subsequently approved— just not too clear at the present time.  A parent can modify child support now following a 15% change in  the number of time sharing days.

The chart below copied from the statute uses a % adjustment based on parenting days.

Time Days

Adjustment Percentage



















Also the Court can use it’s discretion to adjust child support based on factors specified in KRS 403.2121 (3) (b).

New Kentucky child support law KRS 403.212 creates a self support reserve that applies to poorer parents who make under a specified amount.

Written by Anna Aleksander, Attorney



It is important for parents in Kentucky to know that there is no retroactive modification of child support allowed in the state of Kentucky. Therefore, it is important to modify your support obligation whenever the grounds support such a change. If you have lost income or are going through a long term illness or even if you changed jobs it is imperative that you file your Motion with the court. Why? Because there is no retroactive modification of child support in Kentucky.


The newly created KRS is as follows: ” 403.2121 Establishment of adjustment to child support obligations based upon parenting time.”

The new law applies to families where the child is not receiving public assistance.

The new law differentiates based on whether or not the parties have equal or unequal parenting time.


If equal parenting time then what? Child support obligation is determined as normal. The parent with greater obligation shall pay the difference to the parent with the lesser obligation.


Child support is based on the percentage of overnight stays.

What is an overnight stay? Overnight stay-shall include the costs associated with feeding and transporting the child, entertainment, attending to school work, athletic events, extracurricular activities, or other expenses that transfer with the child as they move from one parent to the other.. Not just a place to sleep!!

Of course parties are always free to agree with each other on the amount of child support, subject to the Court’s approval.

If you require legal assistance with your child support case, please contact Anna Aleksander at Aleksander Law Office, PLLC 502-589-0816 for a free consultation!

Copyright@Anna Aleksander. Disclaimer this article/blog does not constitute legal advise but is intended to describe the general law. It should not be relied upon.