After you’ve decided to seek child support you’ve likely found yourself wondering what you can expect from this experience.
More specifically, how will the payments actually be allocated?
In Missouri, where the laws around child support differ from other states, it’s particularly useful to work with a St. Louis family lawyer to establish child support payments. This can be a productive step in the dissolution of a marriage, or as a proactive step for co-parents to take to avoid confusion down the road.
Let’s review the most common questions and concerns:
How Are Payments Determined?
Several factors come into play when calculating child support payments. Missouri uses the document Form 14 to take into account the pertinent details of both parties. This includes the gross income of both parents, the amount of custody for each parent, health insurance costs, work related childcare costs, the number of children, and several other factors. Though the Form 14 calculates an amount that is commonly accepted as correct by the FSD and courts, as the presumed amount of child support, parents may present evidence to rebut the presumption. This can be used to support a request for a different amount to be paid, instead of the presumed amount on Form 14.
In Missouri, parents are obligated to pay child support which may end when the child reaches age 18 years old, unless the child enrolls in a higher education program by October 1st after their 18th birthday. Once enrolled, the parent may be required to continue the support payments which may continue until that child is 21 years old, as long as the child continues to fulfill several requirements. This includes completing a minimum number of credit hours per semester with passing grades along with other requirements. It can be challenging to navigate the unique child support laws observed in Missouri, and we recommend you to seek legal help with a reputable family law attorney to determine when child support ends.
How Are the Payments Enforced?
If you are ordered to pay support you can select from a variety of arrangements. You may
1) choose to pay online at mo.smartchildsupport.com
2) arrange automatic withdrawals from your bank account
3) send a money order or check to the Missouri Family Support Payment Center
If you are the parent receiving child support, also known as the custodial parent, you can elect to have the support payment automatically deposited into your bank account.
Should parents decide to use the The Family Support Center, the records are maintained in the Automated Child Support System, which lists the amount of payments, when they are made, and the names and addresses of both parties.
What If Parents Are Able to Find a Peaceful Payment Arrangement?
This option to pay child support directly to the other parent may be available to you depending on your Judgment. It’s important to note that should parents decide to arrange payments independently, they are both responsible for keeping track of the payments made and received.
If the non-custodial parent falls behind on payments beyond one month, his or her income is at risk of being withheld by an income withholding. Other options are available to the custodial parent, and should be discussed with an attorney.
People often find relief in setting parameters for the financial well being of their children, ensuring that guidelines have been set for both parents to follow.
Contact a St. Louis Family Law Lawyer to Help
If you are dealing with child support issues, you will need an experienced St. Louis divorce lawyer on your side. At the Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., we work to help our clients to pursue the best possible outcomes for their divorce and family law cases. To speak with someone on our team and get a free case evaluation, call (636) 552-4841 today.