Divorced parents often ask questions about whether they have a duty to advise their ex-spouse of changes in income that might affect child support. While there is no such requirement in Missouri, there is a duty to notify in Kansas.
Kansas Judges are required to follow the Kansas Child Support Guidelines, which direct how child support should be calculated. The Guidelines also direct when and what factors make child support modification appropriate. According to the Guidelines, either a material change in circumstances needs to be shown or the passage of three years is required for a child support order to be reevaluated.
Regarding income changes, section V.B.2 of the Kansas Child Support Guidelines defines what a material change in circumstances constitutes: either a 10% increase or decrease as determined by a child support worksheet. In other words, if the income amount has increased or decreased to the point that it would change the child support amount by 10%, this is a material change.
The Guidelines also specifically require a parent to affirmatively notify the other parent of a material change in income. This means that even if the other parent does not request documentation of current income, you still have a duty to advise the other parent if the change to your income is material.
Failure to abide by this duty to notify can result in significant monetary sanctions, so it is important to ensure you are complying with same if you are on the paying or receiving end of a Kansas child support order.
Notification of a change in income does not automatically result in a change in child support. One of the parents must file a motion to modify child support before that can occur, and there is no obligation to file such a motion.
Because child support calculations are complex in Kansas, you may want to consult a family law attorney to determine if a change in your income would indeed be considered a material change and how that might affect child support.
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