Kansas Child Support Forum

General Kansas Child Support Discussions => Kansas Child Support Guidelines => Topic started by: jmw2019 on March 20, 2019, 04:15:38 PM

Title: Ordered to Share Expenses but not Equal Residency
Post by: jmw2019 on March 20, 2019, 04:15:38 PM
We have a case where Mother has residential custody of the 3 children.  Father sees them every other weekend.  The child support that was originally figured is very confusing.  It appears that the normal sheet was utilized for calculations, but then the agreement in the decree also ordered sharing of some direct expenses.  This situation would not meet the criteria for Shared Expense formula to be used because they do not share equal or close to equal time.

Father lives about 45 minutes from Mother so shared residency wouldn't work during the school year.  Shouldn't Mother be covering the above expenses by using the child support that is provided each month?  Or should those expenses be taken into consideration since they are paid by Father in excess of support
Title: Re: Ordered to Share Expenses but not Equal Residency
Post by: BMull on March 20, 2019, 09:26:35 PM
I have heard of cases like this where courts or case managers require a parent to provide direct expenses in addition to child support.  This practice is absolutely incorrect!  The child support tables in the guidelines provide for all direct and indirect expenses, less health care and child care.  Health care and child care are usually included on the worksheet so that parents automatically pay their income proportionate share, but it can be agreed outside of the worksheet.

The situation with direct expenses being included in the tables is documented in the meeting minutes and it is also further supported by case law many years ago.  In this case, yes, Mother should be covering all expenses for the children (including all expenses for sports) and this comes out of child support.

Remember that child support payments were never intended to fund 100% of a child's expenses.  This is only one parents's contribution.  Both parents have a financial obligation - that includes Mom.
Title: Re: Ordered to Share Expenses but not Equal Residency
Post by: jmw2019 on March 22, 2019, 10:03:55 AM
Thank you BMull for your input!  I did not think that this was correct either.  There are quite a few things going on with this particular case that seem a little odd. 

The KS guidelines were set up for a reason and research was done in order to substantiate the amounts that are included in the tables for the different brackets.  Unfortunately if the judge (when a motion is filed) doesn't make counsel and opposing parties abide by these guidelines or allows them to pick and choose and use them inappropriately, it causes one parent to pay more than their share to the other parent.  In the end the only piece of the equation that suffers is the children.

More focus needs to be placed on making sure that the children are able to spend quality time with each parent, rather than how much money has to be paid monthly (then appealing that decision if changes are made).

Do you have any suggestions on how to handle an opposing party that continues to file motions, appeal hearing officer decisions and request attorney fees? 
Title: Re: Ordered to Share Expenses but not Equal Residency
Post by: BMull on March 22, 2019, 06:40:45 PM
I completely agree.  Here's my feedback.

Guidelines - abiding by the guidelines is actually state law.  A judge must make specific findings of fact in order to deviate from the guidelines.  The guidelines are derived from the Consumer Expenditure Survey data conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.  If things are getting made up, the orders can likely be appealed to the KS Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court.

Troubled opposing parties - firstly, requesting attorney fees is pretty standard practice.  They all request fees just in case.  Actually you should be the one requesting attorney fees if the motion is frivolous and without merit. All of your motions should request attorney fees.  I rarely see attorney fees being awarded.

All parties have a right to due process.  I can only speak from experience, but I have had great luck with returning the favor.  As an example I was faced with a subpoena against my income and all my employment records.  I objected at a hearing stating most of the records had nothing to do with my income.  The judge said that's just "typical language."  So, instead of just dealing with it, I went home and drafted a subpoena with the same language and upped the ante 25%.  I knew that when I filed it, it would fly like a bird because the judge had just ruled on something similar.  The information I gained from those 4 or 5 subpoenas was what changed the trajectory of my case.  ANYTHING that might lead to evidence is discoverable per Kansas law.  So, I guess what I'm saying is that if they want to play hardball, sometimes, you just need to roll up the sleeves.

It all depends on who you're dealing with and your own capability.  I had little to lose and anyone with a conscience should well understand that someone with very little to lose can be very dangerous.  Spend the time reading statutes, case law, court documents from other cases, and even listen to other cases.  You'll start to see some patterns.  I was able to go toe-to-toe with my opposition and in the end I won.  I didn't give an inch without a fight and the tide turned in my favor when I started doing that.  The battle can be won, but first you have to believe in yourself and start putting in the homework.