Most divorcing parents can expect the court to order some kind of child support arrangement even if the judge awards them with 50/50 custody. Typically, the only time the court will not designate child support obligations is if both parents have essentially the same income and each has the children for half the time.
Even in such a scenario, though, extenuating circumstances can exist that require some kind of financial arrangement. For example, the court could still order one parent to reimburse the other for a portion of the children’s healthcare expenses.
Thus, if you are considering divorce and you share children with your spouse, it is a good idea to understand how the state of Missouri calculates child support obligations. This will ensure you do not face any major surprises in court and can plan accordingly for the worst-case scenario.
If you are facing a child custody battle and you want to protect your financial interests while still ensuring your children have everything they need, contact Behrens Law Firm, LLC. Barbara L. Behrens has been practicing law for more than three decades, and she will help you avoid making costly mistakes during the proceedings. Call 314-499-6999 to schedule a consultation with a St. Louis child support attorney.
How Do Missouri Courts Calculate Child Support?
The court aims to calculate child support obligations in the fairest way possible. At the end of the day, child support is not intended to punish the non-custodial parent. Rather, it is to ensure the children of parents who are no longer together have adequate financial support.
- Each parent’s gross income;
- The number of children the parents share;
- The children’s healthcare costs;
- The cost of childcare; and
- The amount of time each parent spends with the children.
The court uses a worksheet called Form 14 to calculate the precise support order and presumes that the answer they arrive at is fair; however, based on the circumstances, a judge may opt to modify the amount. Missouri has a Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations, but family law judges recognize that every case is different.
In general, the minimum monthly payment for child support is $50, which is for parents who have a combined adjusted gross income of up to $1,000. The amount owed increases for every additional $50 of combined income and for every additional child.
If your circumstances change significantly after receiving a child support order, you can ask the court to modify the arrangement. In such a scenario, the court may input your new income into the old formula in order to determine the new order.
If you are facing a child custody case in Missouri or you want to apply to modify your order, contact Behrens Law Firm, LLC. Call 314-499-6999 to schedule a consultation with a St. Louis child support lawyer. You can learn more about child support orders in Missouri by visiting USAttorneys.com.