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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

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