KRS 403.211(1) requires that "An action to establish or enforce child support may be initiated by the parent, custodian, or agency substantially contributing to the support of the child. The action may be brought in the county in which the child resides or where the defendant resides."
A Petition to establish child support is filed in the court clerk's office. A summons is to be issued by the clerk and served on the Respondent to notify him or her of the request, and the Respondent is required to submit a response to the Petition within 20 days of service, or he or she is considered to be in default.
If a Petition has already been filed (for divorce, for example) and there is an ongoing case between the parties, a Motion to Establish Child Support must be filed. Some of the specific requirements for filing a Motion to Establish or Modify Child Support are found in Family Court Rule of Procedure and Practice (FCRPP) 9(4), which provides:
"(a) A motion to establish or modify child support shall be accompanied by the following:
(1) A completed child support guidelines worksheet.
(2) Copies of the movant's last three pay stubs or, if movant is self-employed, proof of the movant's current income.
(3) The most recently filed federal and state income tax returns.
(4) Verification of the cost of health insurance for the child(ren) only.
(5) A notice of hearing accompanying a motion for child support which shall contain the following statement: "You must file with the Court, at least 24 hours prior to the time of the hearing, a completed child support guidelines worksheet, and copies of your last three pay stubs or, if self-employed, proof of your current income and the most current federal and state tax returns.
(b) The responding party is to similarly file the financial information at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
(c) All parties shall exchange said information 10 days prior to the hearing.
(d) In addition, counsel shall certify, prior to the hearing being held, that reasonable efforts were made to resolve all the issues in dispute."
If there is a question about paternity of the child, DNA testing may, depending on the circumstances, be ordered by the court in order to determine whether the man named as a Respondent is in fact the father of the child. KRS 406.011 provides (among other things):
"A child born during lawful wedlock, or within ten (10) months thereafter, is presumed to be the child of the husband and wife. However, a child born out of wedlock includes a child born to a married woman by a man other than her husband where evidence shows that the marital relationship between the husband and wife ceased ten (10) months prior to the birth of the child."
Presumptions are just that, and they can be rebutted by credible and admissible evidence. The question of whether certain evidence is credible and admissible will be carefully examined by the court, and this Lesson does not offer insight concerning the myriad of issues that are addressed in this determination.
Clear? If not, the Lessons that follow are intended to elaborate and clarify, but in the meantime, now you know a little bit about how to request a child support order in Kentucky.