Rodney P. v. Stacy B., 169 SW3d 834 (Ky., 2005)

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Rodney P. v. Stacy B., 169 SW3d 834 (Ky., 2005)
Increase in obligor's income does not warrant increase in child
support where child is committed to the state. A parent cannot
be obligated to pay both the state for the support of a child and the
custodial parent. If the obligor becomes required to pay support to the
Department, the consequence would be conceptually the same as if the child
were in split custody. In that event, the trial court should calculate
child support to the custodial parent pursuant to KRS 403.212(6)-
Split Custody.

The Supreme Court held it was error to increase father's child support for an adolescent who had been committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice as a public offender. Grounds for modification were that father's income had increased. Mother did not testify as to any expenditures made on child's behalf nor did she identify any expenses relating to the child that could not be avoided during the child's extended absence from home. The father did not file a motion to reduce child support.

If a parent is able to contribute to the support of a child who is in the care of a state agency, the Court shall enter an order requiring the parent to pay a reasonable sum to the agency for the support of the child. KRS 610.170. A parent should not be required to pay support for the same child to both the legal custodian and to the Department of Juvenile Justice. If he were required to pay support to the Department, the consequence would be conceptually the same as if the child were in the payor's custody. In that event the trial court should calculate the child support obligation to the legal custodian pursuant to KRS 403.212(6)-Split Custody.

Neither should one non-custodial parent be required to pay child support to another non-custodial parent absence some evidence that the other non-custodial parent is meeting some obligation to support the child.

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