Does Remarriage Affect Child Support in Kentucky?

When parents divorce in Kentucky, the non-residential parent usually pays child support to the primary residential parent.  This child support is calculated according to a very specific formula that takes into account each parent's gross income, payments made for maintenance, payments on prior born children, and the child's health insurance and childcare costs.  People often ask, "What happens if my ex remarries?"  Does the new spouse's income affect child support?

The short answer is no.  Kentucky, like most states, follows the rule that the new spouse's income is not included in a child support calculation.  There may be exceptions in certain extreme cases, but as a general rule it does not matter.

A new spouse's income is not considered because the new spouse has no legal obligation to support another person's children.  Hopefully, the new spouse will not turn out to be a "wicked stepmother" and will genuinely love and care for the children, but the law does not impose any such obligation.  The new spouse's income presumably will help defray the expenses of the household where the child primarily resides and these expenses are the types of things that are covered by child support.  However, it is presumed that the new spouse does so voluntarily and the law does not require the new spouse to continue to support the children.  Therefore, a new spouse's income, in and of itself, is not enough to justify a modification of the child support order in Kentucky.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Christiansen

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