A recent Supreme Court of Kentucky decisions, McFelia v McFelia, (August 29th, 2013) highlights the importance of establishing appropriate child support from the get-go in a divorce action. In this case, the father agreed to standard child support per the guidelines in the Kentucky Revised Statutes. However, the statutes fail to require a deviation from the guidelines table amount for equal timeshare. Essentially, it is within a judge’s discretion to deviate from the guidelines based on equal or nearly equal timeshare.
The optimal time to establish such a deviation in child support is PRIOR to a decree being entered. That is where the facts about timeshare and income are coming before the judge and the time when he or she is most likely to recognize the need to deviate from the guidelines. This is because, by law, the guidelines are presumed to be appropriate. If one party concedes at that point that the other parent is the “custodial parent” and has the child most of the time, then it will be tough to overcome that presumption later.