Our Services to You

  • Child Support

    The collection of child support is neither a constitutional nor a statutory duty of the county attorney. Byron Hobgood, however, has agreed to undertake the considerable responsibility of assisting custodial parents receive the payments that they rightfully deserve. The County Attorney’s office is currently under contract with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Goals and responsibilities of the Child Support Division:

    • Establish Paternity
    • Establish child/medical support orders
    • Modify child/medical support orders
    • Enforce current child/spousal/medical support
    • Collect current child/spousal support
    • Enforce payment of past-due support

    Our office has a limited scope on pursuing medical orders (only when someone is receiving a medical card or if there is a judgment for a specific amount).


    Who decides how much child support I receive?

    The Kentucky Legislature has established a mathematical formula for setting support. Both parties’ income, medical insurance costs, day care expenses and child support being paid for older children are all factored into the formula to arrive at the amount of support to be paid.

    Can the amount be changed in the future?

    If there is a change in circumstances (i.e. change in one or both parties’ income, an older child being emancipated) that results in a change in the amount of child support of at least 15%, then the amount can be changed.

    How do I have the amount changed?

    A motion to modify support must be filed with the same court that set the support originally. Only a court order signed by the judge can legally change the amount of child support. If both parties agree, an agreed order can be signed by both sides and the judge. Without an agreement, there must be a hearing in court and the judge decides.

    When does child support stop?

    The obligation to pay child support stops in most cases when the child becomes emancipated. This occurs in most cases when the child turns 18 or graduated from high school, whichever occurs later.

    If I have more than one child and the oldest becomes emancipated, does the amount of child support automatically go down?

    No. The parent paying the support must file a motion with the court to have the amount of support reduced.

    The parent who is supposed to be paying child support isn't paying. What can I do?

    The child support office in the county where the support was first ordered can help you enforce the order against the parent who is not paying. Several options are available including holding the paying parent in contempt of court and bringing criminal charges. Information you have about the paying parent’s address and place of employment can be very helpful.

    Why does it take so long to get results when I need something done on my case?

    The Hopkins County Child Support Office has over 5,000 active cases. It can take two or three weeks to get an appointment to meet with an attorney when you want some court action on your case. Also, the courts can only handle so many cases a month. We have over 200 court hearings per month on child support matters in Hopkins County.

    She/he never lets me see the kids, so why do I have to pay child support?

    The legal obligation to pay child support is completely separate from the issue of visitation rights. if you are court ordered to pay child support, you must do so regardless of when or if you see the children. If there is a court order giving you visitation and the custodial parent refuses to let you see the children, your recourse is to file a motion with the court asking that he/she be held in contempt of court.

    Where do I send my payment?

    Be sure to include your name and social security number. Mail your payment to: Division of Child Support P.O. Box 14059 Lexington, Kentucky 40512-4059 (800) 443-1576


    Acknowledged Father

    A man who has acknowledged or recognized the paternity of a child by completing, with the child’s mother, a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

    Adjudicated Father

    A man who has been found, by entry of a legal judgment, to be the father of a child born out of wedlock.

    Administrative Hearing

    The process whereby a noncustodial parent’s or obligor’s objections to an administrative action taken by the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) are heard by an impartial hearing officer upon a timely request. A custodial parent may request an administrative hearing if he or she disagrees with the result of a modification review.


    A written statement made under oath before a notary public testifying that the information being provided is true and correct.

    Age of Majority

    Refers to a child who has attained “legal age” or “adulthood.” In Kentucky, the age of majority is 18 or age 19 for an unmarried child who is a full-time high school student, but not beyond the completion of the school year during which the child reaches the age of 19 years. The age of majority is generally the age at which support payments are terminated unless the child is still in high school or is disabled.

    Agreed Judgment

    A judgment reached by agreement of the parties involved.

    Alleged Father (interchangeable with 'Putative Father')

    The man named as the possible biological father of a child born out of wedlock.


    A person who has requested IV-D services, either from an area child support office or from a contracting official.


    The total unpaid support obligation owed by a noncustodial parent or obligor.

    Accrued Arrearage

    The amount of arrears that are not specified in a court or administrative order, but which accrue due to nonpayment of support. Accrued arrearages are fully enforceable and automatically become a judgment on the date that the unpaid support is due.

    Adjudicated Arrearage

    The amount of arrears reduced to a judgment or specified in a court or administrative order.

    Assigned Arrearage

    Any unpaid child support owed to a custodial parent which he or she assigns as a condition for receiving public assistance services. In addition, an assigned arrearage is an arrearage that accrues during the time K-TAP is or was received.

    Unassigned Arrearage

    Support owed to a custodial parent which has accrued after IV-D services are stopped.

    Assistance Payment

    The grant or money payment made to a needy family by either the K-TAP or FC program.

    Burden of Proof

    The necessity for a person to confirm or prove a fact in dispute on an issue raised between the parties.

    Cabinet for Families and Children (CFC)

    The state agency responsible for providing services to Kentuckians in need.

    Caretaker Other Than Parent

    This term refers to an individual who is the custodian of the children) but who is not the biological mother or father of the child(ren).

    Child Support

    The money paid by a person specifically to provide for the needs of a minor child.

    Child Support Action

    A judicial and/or an administrative action taken under Kentucky law to establish an amount of money to be paid by a noncustodial parent or obligor to provide for the needs of a minor child.

    Child Support Guideline

    Sets forth a recommendation for the physical support of children based on a determination of income available to both parents.

    Closed Case

    A case in which there is little or no potential for successfully completing action now or in the future.

    Common-Law Marriage

    An agreement between a legally competent man and a legally competent woman to contract a marriage. The term refers to a marriage which occurs without a religious or a civil ceremony. The man and woman must have lived together and indicated to the community that they were husband and wife.

    Visit the Kentucky Child Support website for more information

  • Traffic Citations

    If you receive a minor traffic violation in Hopkins County, you may be eligible for CATS.

    What is CATS?

    The County Attorney’s Traffic Safety (CATS) program was recently launched by our office.  We are excited to offer this program as an alternative for citizens who receive traffic citations in our county.  Through this program you are able to avoid court appearances, court costs, points from your license and keep your insurance rates low! Bring us your citation, we will verify your eligibility and enroll you in our program. At that time you will be placed in a 3 month diversion. You simply log on to the programs website, view a short video and take a 20 question test.  Upon successful completion of the assigned course, your score is transmitted to the County Attorney’s Office.  If you do not receive any other traffic citations during the 3 months, your violations will then be dismissed.  The cost of the CATS Program is $170.  You DO NOT pay the cost of your citation or the court cost. For those who do not have online access, a DVD instructional video and accompanying mail-back test is available as an alternative. To request enrollment into the CATS program, you will need to bring and/or fax your citation and provide the necessary proof to the Hopkins County Attorney’s office: Wanda Morrow Hopkins County Annex building 25 East Center Street Madisonville, Kentucky 42431 270-821-3164

  • Cold Checks

    The Cold Check Program operates under the Theft by Deception Status KRS 514.040. Once the merchant receives a returned check from its banking institution, the merchant should bring the original check to the County Attorney’s office.  The merchant may call the maker of the check if he so desires, but it is not necessary.  The merchant is not required to send a certified letter to the maker. This program is free to merchants. When the merchant presents the original check to the County Attorney’s office, the County Attorney’s office will generate a letter to the maker of the check. Once the merchant presents the check to the County Attorney’s office, they should not accept payment from the maker but should refer the maker to the County Attorney’s office to arrange payment. The letter notifies the maker that he has seventeen (17) days to redeem the check.  The letter instructs the maker to take the letter to any Fifth Third Bank and deposit the full amount using the attached deposit slip.  The letter also contains information for mailing in the payment and for paying by credit or debit card. To redeem the check, the maker must pay the face value of the check, the merchant’s service fee of $50.00 and the County Attorney’s service fee of $50.00.  If the check is redeemed, the merchant will receive payment from the County Attorney’s office. If the check is not redeemed by the seventeenth day, the merchant will be asked to return to the County Attorney’s office to sign a complaint against the maker.  The complaint will then be forwarded to the Judicial Center where it will be reviewed by a judge and a Criminal Summons or an Arrest Warrant will be authorized.  The summons or warrant will then be available for service by law enforcement. Once the summons or warrant has been issued, the maker must appear in court to address the matter.  Outstanding summons or warrants will not be recalled even if they make restitution on the check. To attempt to avoid becoming a victim of a cold check, he merchant should request a photo ID and confirm the information on the check matches the information on the photo ID.


    1. Accurate street address.
    2. Date of birth.
    3. Driver’s license number.
    4. If the maker has an out-of-state driver’s license, the merchant should get the maker’s social security number — this will enable the Sheriff’s Department to trace that person, if necessary.


    1. Two party checks.
    2. Checks returned for “Stop Payment.”
    3. Checks not deposited within thirty (30) days from the date of the check.
    4.  Checks more than one year old, unless the check is more than $500.00.
    5. Post dated checks.

    If you have any questions, please contact Angie Hill by calling 270-821-3164 or by emailing [email protected].

  • Delinquent Taxes


    What is considered a delinquent real estate tax?

    A tax is considered “delinquent” when the due date of a specific real estate tax assessment has passed and by statute any appeal rights have expired. Hopkins County real estate property tax notices are mailed out in late September or early October by the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office and are payable to the County Sheriff’s Office beginning November 1. They become delinquent on January 1, following their due date and are maintained and collected in the Hopkins County Sheriff’s office until April 15.  After April 15, delinquent taxes are transferred to and maintained by the Hopkins County Clerk’s office, accruing penalties and interest of 1% per month until paid.

    Where do I send my delinquent tax payment?

    Delinquent taxes may be paid in person by visiting the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office at  24 Union Street, Madisonville, KY. If you are unable to visit our office, full payment can be mailed by personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or certified check to: Hopkins County Clerk 24 Union Street Madisonville, Kentucky, 42431

    Is a lien placed on my property when my taxes become delinquent?

    Yes. A lien is filed against real property you own in Hopkins County. The lien is filed with the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office and is a public record of the amount you owe. It could affect your ability to obtain credit or sell real estate. The cost of releasing the lien will be added to the delinquent tax account at the time the lien is filed.

    Can I make periodic payments on my delinquent tax bill?

    Yes.  The Hopkins County Attorney’s office can create a payment plan for delinquent tax bills when payment in full cannot be made.  Delinquent tax bills on a compliant payment plan will be marked as “unavailable for sale” with the Hopkins County Clerk’s office therefore removing the risk of the bill being purchased by a third-party purchaser.  To obtain more information on delinquent tax payment plans, please contact Angie Hill by calling 270-821-3164 or by emailing [email protected].

    Who can lawfully purchase my delinquent tax bill?

    Kentucky law allows any individual or company to purchase taxpayers’ delinquent tax bills that have not been previously purchased by the state or sold and recorded in the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office. The purchase can neither be anticipated nor prevented by the Hopkins County Clerk or the Hopkins County Attorney.  The Hopkins County Clerk will hold an annual sale of delinquent tax bills.  A specific date is set on a yearly basis but the sale is normally held in October.

    What happens when someone buys my delinquent tax bill?

    The tax bill is converted to a “Certificate of Delinquency” which the buyer will receive from the County Clerk’s Office as a piece of paper or an electronic record. The buyer has fifty (50) days to give you notice he has bought your tax bill. Payment must be sent directly to the buyer, along with the associated penalties and interest assessed by the buyer. Once you pay the buyer, he will surrender the certificate to you, so that it may be presented to the County Clerk for lien release.

    How long do I have to pay the buyer?

    The buyer may institute a foreclosure action in court against you for the unpaid debt one (1) year after the creation of the certificate of delinquency. However, some buyers may be in no hurry to collect the debt, given the high interest rates charged, and may simply hold the certificate as long as your equity in the property exceeds the tax debt. The statute of limitations for the certificate of delinquency is 10 years.

    Are there other costs that may be added to my tax liability after it becomes delinquent?

    Yes. A delinquent tax collection fee and interest will be added to the total amount due when it becomes delinquent. Currently the fees are penalties, cost of advertising, lien filing fee, County Attorney fee, County Clerk fee. A third party purchaser may also add other costs to your bill.