In Kentucky, child support is calculated using the statutory guidelines provided in KRS 403.212. These guidelines consider the monthly gross income of both parents, the number of children in common between the parents, and the costs of any childcare and healthcare expenses for the children. Although you and your co-worker have the same income, your co-worker’s ex-spouse may earn more or less money than your ex-spouse, have more or fewer children, or pay more or less toward childcare and healthcare expenses for the children.
Another reason for the difference in your and your co-worker’s child support obligation may be that courts have the discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines when the guidelines’ application would be unjust or inappropriate. KRS 403.211(3). Examples of reasons for a deviation include a child with extraordinary medical, dental, educational, or special needs; a parent’s own extraordinary needs; a child with independent financial resources; and an equally shared parenting time schedule. KRS 403.211(3); Plattner v. Plattner, 228 S.W.3d 577, 579 (Ky. App. 2007).
Although there are guidelines in place, calculating child support is fact intensive and deviations are made on a case-by-case basis. Thus, it is important to discuss your unique circumstances with an experienced family law attorney.