How to Petition for Child Support in Missouri?

father carrying small child drinking from baby bottle

Child support is an important part of most divorces involving one or more minor children in Missouri. The division of resources can affect a child’s life. A parent may be eligible to request to receive child support from their co-parent to maintain a household that meets the child’s needs.

Given the complexity of the law, working with an experienced family law attorney can help protect your parental rights and assets in addition to supporting your child’s best interests. This is important throughout the process of requesting child support and if you desire to modify the court order after the divorce due to a change in circumstances.

What Is Form No. 14 Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet?

Missouri issues a chart that identifies the basic expenses of raising a child in the state, including:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Public K-12 education
  • Standard uninsured medical care

This chart shows expenses from one to six children and operates as a baseline for Form No. 14 Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet. This estimator can help a parent determine possibly how much child support they may have to pay. Every paternity case, legal separation, and divorce requires the completion of this form.

In addition to the information inputted in the chart, Form No. 14 needs the following information, including but is not limited to the following:

  • Both parents’ income, including salaries, commissions, and retirement plans
  • Maintenance (alimony) payments
  • Each parent’s percentage of custody
  • Additional child-rearing expenses

Form No. 14 helps parents get a detailed estimate of child support payment they may expect to pay or receive.

What Factors Does a Judge Consider to Grant Child Support in Missouri?

Although a judge will review the estimations from Form No. 14, they may choose to alter the amount of child support in their final order if they find them unfair. If one parent disagrees with the results of Form No. 14 calculations, they also have the right to contest them but need to prove their claim.

A Missouri judge generally grants child support based on factors which may include but is not limited to:

  • Both parents’ financial resources and needs
  • The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
  • The child custody arrangements, including visitation schedules
  • The standard of living the child was used to before the divorce
  • Each parent’s work-related childcare expenses

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you attempt to receive the child support you are hoping for or attempt to make sure that the payments you need to make are fair to you. Protecting your parental rights is an important part of any divorce that involves minor children. Your attorney can help you at every step of the process, including if necessary, during your hearings before the judge.

Can You Modify a Child Support Order?

The goal of child support is to ensure your child’s resources until there is no longer an obligation for child support. However, your circumstances may change between your divorce and your child’s eighteenth birthday. If this is your case, you can request a modification or even termination of the child support order.

In Missouri, a judge may grant a child support order modification or termination upon a change in circumstance which include but is not limited to the following grounds:

  • One parent’s death
  • Significant health change for a parent or the child
  • Substantial income changes for a parent
  • The child now supports themselves

If you are considering requesting a modification or termination of the current child support order, you should contact the Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. They can evaluate your situation.

Do you need legal advice about child support? Contact Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., today at (636) 552-4841 to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys in Chesterfield!

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