The Kentucky Supreme Court granted discretionary review in Lichenstein v. Barbanel, a child support enforcement case. The Court of Appeals opinion was designated not to be published. We will digest that opinion soon.
The parties divorced in 2004. Their property settlement agreement provided that the mother would not request financial assistance from the father for their adult dependent daughter for a period of two years. After two years, the father would provide financial assistance, not to exceed $150 per month, if necessary. In 2008, the mother requested that the father contribute to their daughter’s support. The daughter was only able to work six to nine hours per week at Ponderosa due to multiple disabilities, but did not qualify for disability benefits. Her reasonable expenses were found to exceed $740 per month. The family court ordered the father to contribute $729 per month towards the daughter’s support pursuant to KRS 405.020(2). Father appealed.
The COA affirmed. Although the agreement stated that the father’s contribution would not exceed $150 per month, the daughter’s need for support changed when she was denied disability benefits. Pursuant to KRS 405.020(2), both parents share a joint obligation to support children who are wholly dependent because of a permanent physical or mental disability.
Digested by Sarah Jost Nielsen, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates