How Is Child Support Calculated in Missouri?
Missouri child support is meant to ensure that both the parents can provide for a child financially and allows the child to live with the same standards they would have if the parents still lived together. So, if you are wondering how child support is usually calculated, here is what you need to know.
The child support payment is generally calculated using the Child Support Amount Calculation Sheet, commonly known as Form 14. Form 14 is essential when it comes to establishing payments. It usually comprises calculations that consider:
- The number of children in the case.
- Both parents’ monthly income.
- The amount both parents pay for work-related child care, health insurance for the child, and any other agreed-upon expenses, for instance, extraordinary medical costs.
- The number of annual overnight visits the non-custodial parent has.
The parent on the receiving side is expected to spend their portion of the calculated obligation directly on the child. In contrast, the parent on the paying end is supposed to pay their amount to the other parent.
However, if the parents wish to stray from Form 14, they can do so in an uncontested case or settlement. In many trials, judges usually order the Form 14 amount. Still, the parents may deviate from it if the evidence shows a different amount that would be more reasonable and better meet the child’s needs.
How Is Child Support Amount Determined in Missouri?
To determine the amount of child support payments, a complicated calculation is usually carried out. Though Missouri has a Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations, each case is different and unique in its own way.
A judge usually is obligated to follow this schedule. Missouri child support laws offer several guidelines for the judge to determine proper child support payments. However, several factors influence their decision.
Below are some of the factors that may help a judge determine the amount of Child support to be paid:
- The child’s physical condition and mental well-being
- The child’s current educational needs or status
- An estimate of the state of living the child would have if both the parents still lived together
- The financial needs and financial resources of both the child and the parents
The above factors are very significant when determining the amount of child support paid and received.
How Child Support Is Calculated in Missouri
If perhaps you are undergoing a divorce in Missouri and a minor child is involved, an important aspect will be to determine the child support payments. Typically, it’s expected that the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent support to help maintain the child’s standard of living and cover the needed expenses.
Calculating child support can be a highly complex process, but consulting with your local child custody lawyers might be an excellent decision for legal advice. They can assist you by making sure you don’t pay too much or receive too little when it comes to paying child support.
The following factors are commonly considered when calculating child support in Missouri.
The first step in calculating child support is determining the gross income and the adjusted monthly income for each parent. Once gross income calculations are done, adjustments are made for other child support obligations and alimony payments. The adjusted income is then divided by taking both parents’ combined incomes to establish each parent’s proportionate share of the child’s expenses.
Additional costs usually include work-related child care expenses for each parent, health insurance costs, and other costs such as extracurricular activities and private school tuition. Once the calculations of the additional costs are obtained, the parent’s support obligation is then calculated by taking the total amount of the child’s expenses and multiplying it by each parent’s proportionate share.
Several considerations are usually taken into account when calculating child support payments in Missouri. The state child support guidelines generally provide guidelines on what ought to be paid. However, sometimes a court may deviate and order more or less when it comes to supporting payments. Some considerations usually include the child’s educational needs, physical and emotional condition, financial needs and resources, and the standards of living the child would have if the parents didn’t opt for divorce.
How to Calculate Joint Custody Child Support
The ultimate goal of child support laws is to ensure the child has access to the same standards of living they would have had if the parents were still married. Therefore, the calculation of child support in joint custody arrangements is done on a case-by-case basis.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Missouri with Joint Custody?
Similar to situations in which one parent has primary custody, joint custody child support payments begin with calculating each parent’s income. The court will then consider the amount of time each parent spends with the child and the expenses each is responsible for to determine what proportion of this income, if any, must be paid from one parent to the other.
In some cases where parents split physical custody equally, the state of Missouri will take the child support obligation, which is usually determined by the applicable state’s child support formula, and then divide the obligation in half to arrive at an appropriate amount.
What Is the Average Child Support Payment in Missouri?
Usually, a court will estimate that the cost of bringing up one child is $1000 a month, and the non-custodial parent’s income is 66.6% of the parent’s total combined income. Consequently, this means the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support or even 66.6% of the whole child support obligation.
Navigating through a divorce can be challenging, especially if a child is involved and you are required to pay child support or need to collect child support payments from the non-custodial parent.
To determine a fair amount you should receive or pay for child support, it’s always good to opt to work with a family law attorney or a child custody lawyer. Through compassionate and strategic legal advice and advocacy, they can help you ensure that your child is taken care of and that all parties can move forward under the protection of financially sound agreements.