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How is Child Support Determined?

Several key issues are addressed during a divorce, including child custody and child support. Additionally, there are many elements involved in a judge’s decision-making process when rendering a decision on any of these issues and, to have a better understanding of what you are facing, it is important to know what these decisions are based on.

In the State of Missouri, the Form No. 14 Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet is a child support calculator that requires both parents’ information, including income, alimony/maintenance payments, payments already made for the child, the percentage of custody each parent has, and any other expenses related to the upbringing of the child. On this form, income would also include tips, salaries, commissions, retirement plans, and any other sources of income.

Moreover, you will also need to input healthcare costs of the children, including medical expenses and health insurance, as well as childcare expenses and expenses incurred for the children partaking in extracurricular activities. If your child has special needs or requires specialized care for a disability, expenses related to these needs should be factored in as well.

If a parent chooses to be unemployed to avoid paying child support, the court can impute income to that parent. Essentially, this means the court will estimate what the parent should be making based on training, education, and employment history, so that the parent can be held accountable. Of course, this does not mean the court will impute income to any parent simply because he or she is unemployed. If you had to stay home with young children and do not have any employment history,or if you are unable to work due to a disability,the court may not impute income to you.

The Form 14 child support amount is the presumed amount of childsupport. Howeverthe court can rebut the Form 14 amount as being unjust and inappropriate.

Relevant factors the Court may consider in awarding child support include but are not limited to:

  • The needs and resources of both parents
  • The needs and resources of the child
  • The standard of living that would have been provided for the child if the divorce never took place
  • The reasonable work related child care expenses of each parent.
  • The legal and physical custody arrangement

It is also possible to modify a child support order after a child support order has been entered. In a modification one of the factors the judge will consider if there is a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.

Contact a Child Support Attorney Today!

Child support is a complex issue that requires skilled legal guidance to ensure a fair decision is ordered that protects you and the best interests of your children. At Galmiche Law Firm, P,C, our experienced child support attorney will guide you through this process and attempt to ensure you obtain the results you are seeking. With over 30 years of experience on our side, you can feel confident in our ability to effectively navigate you through the complexities of your case.

Call our law office today at (636) 552-4841 to request a free, in-person case evaluation our knowledgeable child custody attorney to discuss your case.