Can I get financial support for my children and myself?
Maybe. It is important to know that the court makes separate decisions when awarding support for you and your children, so it is possible that you may only be able to get support for your children, and not for yourself. It is also possible that you can get both.
Support for your child:
As long as paternity is established and your child lives with you, you are entitled to receive support for your child until the child turns 18. Establishing paternity means that your child’s biological father is recognized by the court as the “legal father.” If you were not married to the child’s father, you can establish paternity by filing “parentage” action in court. When an order is issued, you might be able to get additional support dating back to the birth of the child.1 If you were married when the child was born or conceived, paternity is assumed.2 You can file for child support if you no longer live with your husband or you may also get child support as part of your divorce.
Child support may continue beyond age 18 if:
- the child is still in high school, the support would continue until the end of the school year when the child turns 18 or 19 or
- the parents agree in writing to support the child after s/he turns 18 and this agreement is approved by the court.3
For more information on how to establish paternity, we recommend contacting a lawyer. Please see our KS Finding a Lawyer page for legal help in your area.
In deciding how much child support to give, some things a judge will look at are:
- The needs of your child including the educational need and ability
- The age of your child
- How much you and child’s other parent earn or are capable of earning and how much money each of you have
- The standards of living and circumstances of the parents
- Whether or not the parents also have to support other people
- Whether or not your child has money or could earn any money
- The value of services contributed by both parents.4
Support for yourself:
If you are in the process of getting a divorce, a judge may order your former spouse to provide you with continuing financial support, also known as “maintenance.” A judge will decide how much maintenance to give you based on what s/he thinks is fair under the circumstances but the payments will not last longer than 121 months (approximately 10 years).5
1 K.S.A. § 38-1121(f)
2 K.S.A. § 38-1114(a)(1)
3 K.S.A. § 38-1121(c)
4 K.S.A. § 38-1121(g)
5 K.S.A. § 23-2904