According to FindLaw, child support includes payments for basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and health care. The non-custodial parent can also be responsible for covering or sharing expenses regarding daycare, extracurricular activities, private school expenses, and medical expenses not covered by insurance.
The Supreme Court has determined that in Missouri, child support is calculated by a specific method called a “Form 14.” But while it may seem simple, the contents of the form are usually topics of intense debate in a divorce. The disagreement usually arises from details regarding the “real” income of each parent and “overnight credit,” which refers to the amount of time that the child will be staying with each parent over the course of a year. Judges take Form 14 very seriously, which means your divorce lawyer must do the same! The Behrens Law Firm takes every detail of your case seriously and has the legal experience and insight to stay up to date on making your Form 14 entries acceptable to the court. An excellent lawyer is also important because, as DivorceNet points out, courts can increase or decrease the sum of the calculation depending on what they think is fair.
What is overnight credit?
“Overnight Credit” refers to how many nights in a year the parent paying child support has the child (or children) in their care. To calculate what overnight credit a parent should receive; both parents are required to determine the annual number of nights the children will spend with each of them. Usually, the more nights a parent has a child in their care, the less they will pay in child support.
Parenting plans are intended to be flexible, which means that the number of overnight stays required for overnight credit calculation is usually an estimate. But when it comes to child support decisions, inaccurate estimates can make a huge difference. This makes it essential to have a lawyer who understands the unique complexities of your case and has experience fighting for accurate overnight credit. The Behrens Law Firm takes the time and initiative to truly understand every client’s wishes and circumstances. Perhaps most importantly, we care about the wellbeing of your child and work hard to ensure that clients receive the child support award that’s best for their children.
What is real income?
Determining a parent’s real income for purposes of child support is certainly not straightforward. Missouri laws are complex and must account for many factors because an individual’s income is most likely more than a simple paycheck. Undisclosed bonuses, income from royalties, investments, stocks, stock options, bonds, perks, stipends, allowances, hazard pay, “off the books” work, disability, regular monetary gifts, and much more go into what is considered someone’s “real income.”
When fighting for fair child support terms, you need an experienced divorce lawyer who can navigate all the complexities of real income and overnight credit. The Behrens Law Firm will devote expertise and attention to reviewing all relevant sources of income of the other parent and the correct amount of overnight credit to ensure that your child support arrangement is just under Missouri law and fair depending on your situation.
If you want to receive the child support allocation that you deserve, take the first step and schedule a free consultation by calling 314-786-3263 or by contacting us online!
Behrens Law Firm LLC
75 West Lockwood Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119