Child support is based, in large part, on the premise that when two people have a child together, there are ongoing support obligations even when the parties do not reside together.
While there are actions to determine child custody alone, oftentimes when a court decides issues relating to child support there will also be a consideration for child custody.
When deciding issues regarding child support, Missouri statutes provide that the court consider the following factors:
1. The financial needs and resources of the child;
2. The financial resources and needs of the parents;
3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child’s educational needs;
5. The child’s physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements; and
6. The reasonable work-related child-care expenses of each parent.
For practical purposes, the court will utilize a form established by the Supreme Court to determine a child support amount. This form is commonly known as the Form 14.
This form takes into account a number of factors to determine the amount of support that should be paid by either parent. These factors include the monthly income of both parents, the number of children, other expenses such as child care and health care expenses, and the number of overnight stays that the child has with each parent. There is a standard amount that the parent paying support should pay based on all of these factors. This amount is then presumed appropriate unless rebutted as unjust or inappropriate.
While there are a lot of directions and rules in the child support guidelines, there can still be many issues that are contested in determining a child support amount.
Ashley and Paemon are both familiar and able to assist with the child support calculations. As experienced Missouri divorce lawyers, they will be able to assist you with your needs. Contact us to set up a consultation and see if we are the right attorney for your legal needs.