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Kentucky proposes child support law reform

Proposed changes to current law may keep some offenders out of jail. Kentucky parents who are behind in their child support payments will have another chance to make it good before being sent to overcrowded state prisons, under the potential change. The change is somewhat contentious and has vocal supporters and detractors.

Under current state law, parents who are more than $1,000 or six months behind in child support payments may be charged with felony nonsupport of the child. A felony conviction could mean time in jail where the missed payments will continue to accrue. The new proposal would change the felony threshold to $10,000 or four to six months of missed payments. 

Most people do agree that requiring support payments while a person is in jail is not reasonable, simply because the individual will have no way to make them or to dig themselves out of the hole that is created. Proponents of the changes also believe that keeping individuals out of jail saves on filling the prisons with nonviolent offenders who are not a danger to others. Those who criticize the change say that without the threat of jail time, individuals have less of an incentive to make the payments. 

In Kentucky, the debate over child support reform continues. Whether a person is the one ordered to pay support, or is the person having trouble getting the payments, he or she may be in need of additional help. Many individuals turn to the guidance and experience of a family law attorney for help getting the issue resolved. 

Source:, "Proposed change would allow Kentucky parents to get at least $10,000 behind in child support without felony charges", Gil Corsey, Dec. 20, 2017

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