In Kentucky, the concept of custody, as defined within family court statutes, refers to the authority to make decisions for a child. There exists a presumptive two-year waiting period before a custody situation can be revisited by the court.
Exceptions to this rule are permissible under circumstances where a child may be at risk of physical, emotional, or moral harm. In such cases, earlier review can be sought, particularly if the custodian fails to adequately protect the child or if there is a suspected abandonment or de facto custody transfer. However, this requires at least two separate affidavits affirming the presence of such conditions. After two years, modifications can be requested by merely affirming a change in circumstances that affect the child’s best interests.
The procedure to petition for custody or child support modifications in Kentucky involves filing a motion in the appropriate court, usually the one where the initial order was issued. Custody or visitation modifications require verification or an affidavit from the petitioner attesting to the necessity of the change.
For child support modifications, proof of financial changes should be attached, including a completed child support worksheet reflecting the new financial situation. Although legal representation is not mandatory, the specific procedural requirements suggest that consulting an attorney would be beneficial for a successful petition.
Upon being granted a modification, changes to child support amounts are typically immediate and potentially retroactive to the filing date of the motion. In Kentucky, modifications reflect changes from the filing date forward, not from when the change in circumstances occurred. This underscores the importance of timely filing for modifications to avoid financial discrepancies.
Yes, in Kentucky, child support amounts can increase upon request for a decrease, particularly if there are special circumstances surrounding the initial obligation setting. Courts review all changes, including the child’s needs and the petitioner’s financial situation. Deviations from standard child support guidelines are possible if both parties had previously agreed on a different amount. Seeking legal counsel for a realistic assessment of potential outcomes is advisable before petitioning for modifications.
To challenge a modification petition, the primary approach involves ensuring the accuracy of the financial change claimed and whether it meets the statutory 15% change threshold. If the proposed modification does not meet this criterion, presenting a well-supported response could prevent the petition’s success.
If the modification is granted and seems unjust, the decision can be appealed to a higher court. The appellate process allows for a review, with the possibility of escalating the matter to the Supreme Court, though this is subject to the court’s discretion.