When you have a court-ordered support obligation, it can be hard to keep up with the payments. Unexpected situations and unusual expenses can interfere with the best of intentions.
Unfortunately, the authorities don’t particularly care why you’ve fallen behind on your support obligations – especially in Kentucky. Here’s what you need to know:
Kentucky law makes the failure to pay support a criminal offense
Kentucky Revised Statute §530.050 creates some broad categories for court-ordered support. You can be required to provide financially for:
- An indigent spouse
- A minor child or children
- A child or children of any age adjudged mentally disabled
- A destitute parent who is unable to provide for themselves due to age, infirmity or illness
Failing to adhere to your known obligation means that you can be charged with “nonsupport,” which is a misdemeanor offense, or “flagrant nonsupport,” which is a Class D felony offense.
Nonsupport is defined as failing to provide support for at least two months, while flagrant nonsupport is defined as “persistently” failing to provide support. That means that you must be at least $2,500 or six months behind on your payments or your dependent must be considered destitute. That includes situations where they must rely on public assistance because of the lack of support.
It’s important to understand that regardless of the charges there are defenses available to you. For example, you may have extenuating circumstances that mitigate your liability (such as illness or imprisonment), or you may never have been properly notified of your obligation. Whatever the situation, make sure that you have experienced legal assistance as you navigate the charges.