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Kansas Motion to Modify Child Support

In Kansas, a parent may file a motion to modify child support in a post divorce or a domestic relations matter in the event of a material change in the financial circumstance of one or both of the parties.  The Kansas child support guidelines govern the modification of child support orders just as it governs the creation and termination of original child support orders.  The term material change again can mean a number of different things, but overall, it must mean that the underlying child support obligation would change by 10% or more due to the alleged financial change in circumstance.

This means that a financial change in circumstance could be any of the following:

  • Increase or decrease either parent’s income
  • Increase in health insurance costs
  • Increase in day care costs
  • New employment
  • Loss of insurance
  • Loss of job

A material change in financial circumstances also exists if the child support order on file has not been modified or reviewed within the last three years or if a child moves from one age category to the next:

0-5
6-11
12-18

Most of the time parents are filing motions to modify due to changes in income.  One party may lose a job or become furloughed or the other parent may have received a big promotion and earns a great deal more income. Under the guidelines there is a duty to notify in Section V.B.II, which provides that a party who experiences a material change in financial circumstances has a duty to notify the other party of said change. This essentially codifies the honor system in requiring one party to disclose to the other a change in financial circumstances.  This could mean one party has to notify the other because they got a raise, or one party has to notify the other because their position has been terminated with their current employer and they are presently out of work.

With the duty to notify comes a pretty serious sanction if not followed. With the right facts the court can essentially fine the non-informing party for failing to disclose the material change. A parent who conceals income could be fined an amount equal to the difference in what that parent would have paid the other parent had the financial change been disclosed. That monthly difference can then be tracked all the way back to the date of the alleged nondisclosure.  This is the one area where a district court judge has the ability to bend back time further than what the statutes generally allow, which is 30 days post filing of a motion to modify.

In the case of the duty to notify breach, the district court judge has the authority to impose a sanction on a party, which essentially back-dates a modification to a date well in advance of 30 days post filing the motion, and in some cases multiple years before. This can cost the breaching party thousands and thousands of dollars.  This is one reason why it is important to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney who is experienced with Kansas child support issues to help you navigate your child support resolution. Contact the team at Fairbanks DeMarco to learn more about child support modifications in Kansas.

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