When the Kentucky child support guidelines were enacted over 25 years ago, the child would generally live with the mother and visit with the father on alternate weekends. When children spend much more time with the "non-residential" parent, the courts have recognized that a deviation from the strict application of the guidelines is required. In order to equitably determine child support when the child spends a considerable time with both parents and they share expenses, the courts have adopted the Colorado Child Support Commission formula. This formula assumes it will cost considerably more (typically 1.5 times more) for both parents to raise the child due to duplication of items such as clothing, supplies, housing expense and the like.
The calculations required under the Colorado formula may seem complicated, but as you can see from the worksheet I have prepared for this Lesson, it is just a matter of moving from A to Z! Both a blank worksheet and an example of how the formula works are shown below:
We start with steps A - D, inserting each parent's monthly gross income and calculating their respective percentages, just as before. Then, insert the amount (E) from the Kentucky Child Support Guideline found in the table in KRS 403.212, and multiply by 1.5. That will determine the Base Monthly Support (F), which is allocated between the parents according to their incomes (G) and (H).
Then, the average number of nights spent per month in each parent's home (I and J) is used to calculate the respective percentage of parenting time (K and L.) This is not always simple to determine, considering holidays, birthdays, spring break, summer vacations, etc., but to apply this formula, the total number of overnights in the year can be divided by 12 months.
The parents' retained obligations (M and N) are obtained by multiplying their respective Share of Base Monthly Support by their percentage of Parenting Time. On our sample worksheet, the mother's retained obligation is (K X G) or 60 % X $724.28.
Then, the adjusted obligations are calculated. On the sample worksheet, the mother's adjusted obligation (O), for example, is G minus M, or $724.28 minus $434.52, or $289.76. The father's adjusted obligation is calculated the same way, and then the net child support can be calculated. On the sample worksheet, the father would have a monthly net child support obligation only of $580.15.
The allocation of health insurance and childcare expense is allocated only according to income, with no adjustment for the amount of time the child spends with each parent. So, on our sample worksheet, father is providing health insurance (S) and mother is paying the childcare provider (T). Adjustments are made based on their respective allocations of those expenses (V and X), and net adjustments in W and Y.
Finally, adding the child support only from Q to the net adjustment for childcare and health insurance (Y), we finally get to Z, the total net obligation owed.
Take your time getting through this. It really does make sense if you go through all of the steps, A - Z. Now, whether you are in Colorado or Kentucky, you know a little bit about calculating child support when the child spends a considerable time with each parent!