August 2019 | No. 119,221 (Kan. Ct. App. 2019)

In re LaForest (Kansas 2019)

An award of attorney fees cannot be offset against child support. A mother and father filed for divorce. The divorce dragged on, and eventually, the mother obtained a default divorce. The father filed to set aside the default order and asked for the attorney fees incurred to prepare the motion. The district court awarded him the fees and offset them against his child support obligation. The mother appealed. The Appellate Court first considered the award of attorney fees and found it inappropriate. Regardless, the Court noted attorney fees cannot be offset against child support. That is taking money that essentially belongs to a child. To do this is a deviation without proper findings.

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