Cabinet for Health & Family Servs. v. IvyAnnotate this Case
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services filed a motion to hold Renee Ivy in contempt after Ivy fell behind in her child support payments. At the hearing on the motion, Ivy presented evidence that her sole source of income was a federal benefit under the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI). The trial court reduced Ivy's support obligation and held her in contempt for having failed to pay the past due amount. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the contempt finding and the order to pay even reduced child support could not stand because evidence showed Ivy did not have the ability to pay. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the court of appeals' decision to the extent that it suggested that a SSI recipient-parent's present inability to pay precludes even the assessment of child support; (2) vacated the existing order and remanded for the family court to determine if the guidelines-based amount would be unjust or inappropriate pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 403.211(2); and (3) affirmed the holding that a contempt finding was inappropriate here where there was essentially uncontroverted evidence that Ivy's failure to provide child support stemmed only from her inability to do so.