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What Does Child Support Cover?

What is Child Support For?

The question often arises as to the purpose and uses of child support. Following is a guideline for what may be covered and what other expenses are generally divided.  KRS 403.212 governs child support calculation in Kentucky.

Child support is generally paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. This presumes that the custodial parent incurs the majority of costs associated with raising the child(ren). Those regular and routine costs include:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • School fees
  • School lunches
  • Daycare expenses
  • Ordinary extra-curricular activities

What about Shared Parenting?

Kentucky law provides for a presumption of shared parenting and equal parenting time; aka 50/50.  A shared parenting plan with both parents having over 40% of the time will often give rise to a modification of the child support schedule, still utilizing parties' incomes. In addition to income, this modification also depends on both the amount of time as well as who pays for the expenses. 

If the parties are equally sharing in the care and custody of children, then there are two options in calculating child support:

  1. Pay standard child support as outlined above. The party receiving support remains responsible for the costs outlined. This is less often utilized but may be easier than division of expenses.
  2. Pay child support as an offset based on relative incomes. Each court is somewhat unique in how that is calculated, but generally it is calculated as full support from 1 less what other party would pay if custody was reversed. If the offset amount is utilized, the parties should also share in the costs outlined above in proportion to their incomes.

This is only a guideline and individual courts may vary. It has been created by Michael W. Bouldin to assist parents to resolve their differences and give guidance to local court practicesIf you need a consultation or wish to hire an attorney, contact Micahel Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.


Transportation of the child(ren) for exchange is usually on a 50/50 basis. Transportation costs is for the custodial parent to take the child to and from school and extra-curricular activities.

If the child(ren) had been attending private school during the marriage, the presumption is that the private school is in the child(ren)'s best interest and the Court will routinely divide the cost according to income. If the child(ren) are before school age or have attended public school, it is presumed that public school is in best interest. At that point, if either party chooses to enroll the child(ren) in private school, they shall bear the full expense unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

Ordinary is the normal sign-up and equipment fees associated with normal extra-curricular activities. If the costs exceed $100 (i.e. ice skating) and has been done prior to parties separating, these fees are usually evenly divided between the parties. If they are "new" activities, the party signing the child up generally incurs the fees.

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