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In re Marriage of Thomas

Court of Appeals of Kansas

February 14, 2014

In the Matter of the MARRIAGE OF Donald THOMAS, Appellant, and Lisa Thomas, Appellee.

Page 673

Syllabus bye the Court

1. An appellate court's standard of review from a trial court's order determining the amount of child support is whether the trial court abused its discretion, while interpretation and application of the Kansas Child Support Guidelines (guidelines) are subject to unlimited review.

2. Use of the guidelines is mandatory, and failure to follow the guidelines is reversible error. Any deviation from the amount of child support determined by the use of the guidelines must be justified by written findings in the journal entry. Failure to justify deviations by written findings is reversible error.

3. When the facts of a case fall outside the guidelines, the guidelines do not limit the power of the trial court, and review is strictly one of abuse of discretion.

4. A judicial action constitutes an abuse of discretion if the action: (1) is arbitrary, fanciful, or unreasonable; (2) is based on an error of law; or (3) is based on an error of fact.

5. The party asserting that the trial court abused its discretion bears the burden of showing this abuse of discretion.

6. Because an adoption subsidy is meant to supplement an adoptive parent's income for the benefit of a special needs child, the adoption subsidy is in no sense attributable to the adoptive parent.

7. An adoption subsidy is income attributable to the adopted child.

8. Because an adoption subsidy is not income attributable to the parent, but, rather, income of the child, the adoption subsidy could not be considered in the income attributable to the custodial parent for the purpose of calculating child support.

Donald Thomas, appellant pro se.

Robert E. McRorey, of Law Office of Robert E. McRorey, of Olathe, for appellee.

Before MALONE, C.J., GREEN and BRUNS, JJ.

GREEN, J.

Donald Thomas appeals from the trial court's decree of divorce. As part of the divorce decree, Donald was ordered to pay his former spouse, Lisa Thomas, $315 per month in child support. On appeal, Donald argues that the trial court erred in calculating child support because it failed to reduce or eliminate his support ...


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