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What is the Child Support Program?
The Child Support Program, administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services:
locates noncustodial parents
establishes financial and medical support
enforces and collects support payments
enforces medical support
enforces spousal support orders when the child and spouse or former spouse live together and the child support agency is collecting support for the child
reviews support orders for possible modification
Who is eligible?
Either parent or a person who has physical custody of the child may apply for child support services. Families who receive public assistance receive child support services automatically. Child support payments collected for families receiving public assistance go to the state and federal governments as repayment for public assistance.
Families who do not receive public assistance may apply for child support services by calling the child support office in their county of residence. Child support payments for nonpublic assistance families are collected by Kentucky’s Centralized Collection Unit and then sent to the family.
What enforcement methods can be used to collect support?
Kentucky law requires that child support payments be deducted from a noncustodial parent’s paycheck. Federal and state law allow the Child Support Program, in conjunction with other state and federal agencies, to use enforcement methods, which include but are not limited to the following:
file liens against real and personal property
seize bank accounts, savings, bonuses, lump sum earnings, etc.
intercept state and federal income tax refunds
take a portion of unemployment compensation or workers’ compensation benefits
intercept lottery winnings
deny, suspend or revoke a driver’s license, professional license or certification, occupational license or certification, recreational license, sporting license or license to carry a concealed deadly weapon
deny, revoke or limit passports
require the parent to post a bond with the court
order the parent’s employer to enroll the parent’s children in a health insurance plan
transfer health insurance coverage for the parent’s children to a new employer if the parent changes jobs
file criminal actions against the parent
file citations of contempt of court in district or circuit courts when payments are not made
What information is needed to receive child support services?
It is helpful to provide the noncustodial parent’s address, Social Security number, date of birth, employer, bank account number, property holdings and investments. This information may be found in old insurance policies, credit card and other applications, state and federal tax returns, hospital records, police records and birth certificates. The noncustodial parent’s business associates, friends or relatives may be able to provide information.
Certified copies of any divorce decrees, court orders addressing custody and child support, and payment records must be provided. Copies of orders can be obtained from the circuit court clerk’s office in the county where the action occurred.
What payment information would be helpful to know?
Once the Division of Child Support has become payee of the support obligation, all child support payments must be paid through the Division of Child Support Centralized Collection Unit.
If the noncustodial parent has more than one child support obligation and is under a wage assignment, all wage payments received will be allocated among the families based on amounts ordered in each case.
The Division of Child Support prefers to disburse payments to custodial parents by direct deposit or debit card.
What if the noncustodial parent lives in another state?
The same location resources and services are available in all states, although interstate cases are more difficult and generally take longer.
What is paternity and why is it important to establish paternity?
Paternity means fatherhood. Fatherhood creates the legal duty to support a child.
Both parents have the right to know and to contribute to the success of their child’s future. Even when a father and mother are unmarried, they both must support their child until he/she becomes an adult. By establishing paternity, the father is providing the child with certain rights and privileges, which may include the following:
Support: Both parents are required by law to support their child.
Identity: Knowing one’s family history is important to everyone. Children have the right to the sense of belonging that comes from knowing both parents.
Medical History: Children need to know if they inherited any special health problems.
Benefits: A child has the right to receive benefits from both parents. These may include, but are not limited to:
Social Security benefits
When should paternity be established?
Paternity should be established:
when the child is born to an unmarried woman;
when the child is born to a married woman and fathered by a man other than her husband;
when there is more than one possible father; and
before the child is 18.
unmarried parents protect
When the parents are unmarried, they can sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity to protect the interests of their child. To be valid, both parents must sign the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and have a notary sign and notarize it. The acknowledged father’s name will appear on the child’s birth certificate as “father.”
A court must resolve the issue of paternity if:
the unmarried parents are under 18;
the mother was married to someone other than the child’s father and the husband does not sign the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; or
there is more than one possible father.
The parent who does not have custody of the child can be ordered to pay child and medical support. Issues such as custody and visitation must be resolved in court if they are to be legally enforced.
Does the signed form legally establish paternity?
Yes. When a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form is completed and signed by both parents, and notarized, a father and child relationship is legally created. The signed form has the same weight and effect as a paternity judgment entered by the court.
Hospital staff will present acknowledgment forms to unmarried parents at the time of the child’s birth. These forms may also be obtained at local health departments and local county attorney’s offices.
Signing the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity document is voluntary. Do not sign this form if:
you are not the biological father of the child;
the child’s mother is married to another man, and he does not sign the form;
you want genetic tests to determine if you are the biological father;
you are the mother and want genetic tests to determine the child’s paternity; or
you are a minor.
Can the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity be voided?
Yes. Kentucky law protects both parents’ rights. Either parent may rescind (take back) the acknowledgment within 60 days. Also, the court may void the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
Call the toll-free child support hot line,
(800) 248-1163, or call your local county child support office.
for Health and Family Services
for Community Based Services
Division of Child Support
P.O. Box 2150
Frankfort, KY 40602-2150
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Printed with State Funds 1/09
The Kentucky Child Support Program
for Health and Family Services
for Income Support
Child Support Enforcement
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