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How do courts calculate child support in high-end income cases?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Child Custody |

While child support awards ultimately depend on the unique facts and circumstances of each case, courts usually have guidelines they follow to make their determination more systematic and uniform. However, when the case involves high-earning parents, a different analysis may apply.

In Kentucky, when a child’s parents’ combined income exceeds $360,000 a year or $30,000 monthly, the state’s child support guidelines no longer apply. Note that the income maximum is subject to change, so it is best to regularly update yourself with the latest changes in the law.

How do courts then compute for child support in these high-end income cases?

Up to each judge’s individualized evaluation

If the combined adjusted gross income of the parents exceeds the uppermost levels of the child support guideline table, the court may use its judicial discretion in determining child support. In these cases, judges may consider several factors, such as the child’s needs, the family’s standard of living and extraordinary expenses. The main priority, however, is the child’s best interests.

Proving or challenging child-related expenses

During child support determination, the party seeking child support must prove all of their requested expenses, such as the child’s private school tuition, extracurricular activities, hobbies and recreation, vacation costs and so on. Moreover, they must also demonstrate that the expenses are consistent with the ones during the marriage and that the other party has the financial capacity to pay.

On the other hand, the party asked to pay support can challenge the child support petition by disproving the requested expenses or demonstrating that they their financial situation makes them unable to pay the requested support amount.

Protect your financial interests

Whether you are seeking support or challenging it, it is important to understand how to properly address child support issues in high-income cases. In these cases, it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable and compassionate child support attorney to understand your options and explore your remedies.