Child Support Enforcement
The McCracken County Attorney’s Office, Child Support Division, processes over 3,000 cases and over 6.2 million dollars in collections annually. Through the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children, the Child Support Division offers a variety of services. The following services are available:
Anyone who has custody of a child and needs help establishing who the father of the child is, establishing a child support order, or collecting current or past-due child support payments is eligible to receive child support services. You do not have to be the child’s parent to qualify for child support services. If you think you may be the father of a child you may request establishment of paternity and we’ll do a DNA test.
Families who receive public assistance receive child support services automatically. (Child support payments collected for families receiving public assistance go to the state and federal governments as repayment for public assistance.)
Families who do not receive public assistance may apply for child support services by completing an application online. To apply for child support services please visit the visit: https://csws.chfs.ky.gov/csws
Paternity means fatherhood. Fatherhood creates the legal duty to support a child. Both parents have the right to know and to contribute to the success of their child’s future. Even when a father and mother are unmarried, they both must support their child until he/she becomes an adult. By establishing paternity, the father is providing the child with certain rights and privileges, which may include the following:
- Support: Both parents are required by law to support their child.
- Identity: Knowing one’s family history is important to everyone. Children have the right to the sense of belonging that comes from knowing both parents.
- Medical History: Children need to know if they inherited any special health problems.
- Benefits: A child has the right to receive benefits from both parents. These may include, but are not limited to Social Security benefits, insurance benefits, inheritance rights and Veterans’ benefits
The monthly support obligation is set based on the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines found in KRS 403.212. The Guidelines use the parents’ gross monthly income or potential income. The Guidelines are based on the principle that both parents are financially responsible for the support of their children.
Once the child support amount is established by Court Order, it can only be modified under certain circumstances. KRS 403.213 sets forth the criteria for modifying a support order. KRS 403.213 states that the child support obligation can only be modified if there is a “material change in circumstance that is substantial and continuing” which results in at least a 15% change in the amount of monthly support.
There are various enforcement remedies we can use to collect current or past-due child support obligations from the noncustodial parent. Some examples include, but are not limited to, the following: withhold income directly from paycheck, deny, revoke, suspend a driver’s or professional license or certificate; place a lien on personal or real property, deny or revoke a passport, furnish the noncustodial parent’s name for publication in a local newspaper, seize lottery winnings or funds held by a bank or other financial institution, and intercept federal and state tax refunds.
The same location resources and services are available in all states, although interstate cases are more difficult and generally take longer.
CHFS attorneys are contracted to provided child support services and to represent the best interests of the children in McCracken County. They do not represent either parent in Court. There are times when a custodial parent does not agree with the course of action they choose for a case. That parent may close his/her case with the office and pursue collection independently or through a private attorney.
By law, the Child Support Office cannot address other problems that are often associated with establishing and/or enforcing child support such as divorce, property settlements, visitation and custody, establish or modify spousal support, or provide legal advice or counsel.
The McCracken County Attorney’s Child Support Office is located at 325 South 8th Street in Paducah (across the street from the Courthouse) or you may call us at (270) 444-7573.