BENEFITS OF BEING IN THE COURT TRUSTEE PROGRAM
Trustee offices span the state of Kansas and have been in existence since 1972. The Douglas County District Court Trustee office opened in 1995. Trustee offices are funded through the trustee fee which is added to the amount of child support ordered and is a fee shared by the parties. The trustee fee in Douglas County is 5%, so each party pays only 2.5%. Both parents benefit when their case is a trustee case.
The trustee office is located in the Douglas County courthouse. It is a local office where you receive personal attention. An attorney and paralegal are assigned to your case. You can call and speak with them directly when you have a question. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH A CALL CENTER. You can drop in at the trustee office at your convenience without an appointment and speak with staff.
Because we are a local office dedicated to serving the citizens of Douglas County, staff will respond timely to changes in your lives and your child’s life. Support enforcement and modification matters are heard by the pro tem division which was established to provide an expedited process.
Kansas law requires child support to be paid by income withholding, and payments are required to be paid through the Kansas Payment Center although some exceptions are allowed. Federal and state laws provide many enforcement options when a parent fails to pay support. The trustee can file garnishments, intercept state tax refunds at your request, file contempt actions where appropriate, and seek assignments on worker’s compensation benefits.
The trustee monitors whether support payments are received by the Kansas Payment Center. It maintains a child support calculation for your case which includes judgment interest if past due balances exist. (If your case is assigned to the Department for Children and Families and handled by one of their private contractors that may not be the case.)
The trustee knows parents want to support their child and we work with non-residential parents so they stay current on support obligations. Within a few days of notifying the trustee of your new job, we will serve your income withholding order on your new employer by fax or email. Your new employer can start withholding soon thereafter and missed payments are kept to a minimum. If you are paying support for more than one child, the trustee will modify the income withholding order timely when one child emancipates so overpayments do not occur.
When notified of a material change of circumstances, such as a child turning ages 6 or 12, the trustee can file a motion to modify child support. In doing so, the trustee does not represent either parent but instead represents the court order. Based upon information provided by the parents in their post-decree domestic relations affidavits, a child support worksheet is prepared using the Kansas Child Support Guidelines. Parents receive the proposed child support worksheet and a notice of hearing. Parents can contact the trustee to discuss the proposed worksheet.
Some parents agree the amount of child support should be modified even when there is no material change of circumstances under the Guidelines. The trustee can prepare agreed orders in that instance and parents pay no legal fees.