September 2022 | No. 123,397 (KS. Ct. App. 2022)

Williams v. Williams (Kansas 2022)

Parents have a proactive duty to disclose a material change in financial circumstances. If this change isn’t disclosed, sanctions may be imposed. In this case, the father filed to modify support based on a reduced income. In the process, it came to light the father failed to disclose a substantial increase in income for a three-year period. In its final order, the trial court modified support and imposed a sanction for the failure to disclosure the change in income. The sanction was to be the amount of support that the father should have paid during the three-year period less the amount he actually paid. The father’s income was high enough that calculating support meant an application of the extended income formula. The father filed two motions to reconsider, both of which were denied. He appealed. The father’s first argument on appeal was that the modification order resolved all child support issues and sanctions could no longer be imposed. The appellate court disagreed. Child support and sanctions for not disclosing income are two separate issues. While related, they are independent. The appellate court also found the sanction award reasonable. The father argued the extended income formula was for setting child support, not for calculating sanctions. The appellate court found no merit to this argument. The sanction award was what he should have been paying for support during the three-year period.

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