Child support can result from administrative action, a petition for the declaration of paternity, or the dissolution of marriage; divorce. In some cases, child support can be awarded in cases where both parents are still married but living separately. The assessment of child support can have a major impact on the individual paying child support, the recipient of the support, and the child. Although child support can be assessed without the aid of an attorney, an attorney can help ensure an equitable process that minimizes emotional strain.
Both of a child’s parents are required to contribute support to the child. It is assumed that a custodial parent is contributing while taking care of the child, while the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support. Children are usually entitled to this support until they reach the age of 18 and finish high school or are emancipated, however if the child is attending a college or trade school, they may be entitled to support until they reach the age of 21.
How is Child Support Calculated in Missouri?
In most cases, child support will be assessed based on a “Form No. 14 Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet.” Form 14, as it is commonly called, calculates child support based on factors such as the number of children being supported, the amount of time that the children spend with each parent, the gross income of each parent, the cost of health care for the children, and the cost of child care. In some cases, a different assessment may be substituted by the Family Support Division (FSD) or a judge.
Missouri courts and the Missouri Family Support Division (FSD) can modify child support. They will do so when it can be demonstrated that circumstances have changed drastically and that the original child support order is no longer reasonable. If a child’s custodial parent has left the child with the non-custodial parent for more than 30 days, child support may be waived for that period through an abatement process.
When do Child Support Obligations End in Missouri?
Child support obligations can end under several circumstances, if the child is not physically or mentally impaired:
- The child marries.
- The child enters active military duty.
- The custodial parent gives up parental control and the child is self-supporting.
- The child reaches the age of 18 and does not attend high school, college, or trade school.
- The child reaches the age of 21.
How College Impacts Child Support in Missouri
Child support can continue up to the age of 21, if the child meets certain requirements:
- The child must enroll in a vocational school or college by October following their graduation from high school.
- The child must complete at least 12 credit hours every semester, excluding the summer semester, and must maintain acceptable grades.
- A child who is working at least 15 hours per week only needs to take 9 credit hours.
- A child with a developmental or physical disability is not required to take a set number of credit hours.
- If the child does not provide a transcript and list of enrolled courses at the beginning of each semester, parents can make a court motion to eliminate the child support for that semester.
- If a child fails to respond to a formal request for a transcript and a list of enrolled courses, child support can be terminated.
Enforcing Child Support
The state of Missouri has several mechanisms in place to enforce child support obligations.
- Withholding income.
- Withholding tax refunds.
- Filing leans against property.
- Ordering employers to enroll a child into a health care plan.
- Reporting overdue child support payments to the credit bureaus.
- Suspending drivers licenses and professional licenses.
- Filing criminal or civil charges.
Experienced, Compassionate, Child Support Counsel
Chris has the experience you need when dealing with child support issues. He has handled hundreds of cases, including over 100 bench trials in domestic law matters. He is a recipient of the Missouri Super Lawyers publication’s “Rising Star” award for his work in domestic law. Chris not only knows how to handle the law, he also knows how to provide compassion and understanding to his clients.
Call Day or Night for a Missouri Child Support Attorney
KC Road Lawyers offers free consultations to individuals dealing with child support issues. Call 816-738-5725 or navigate to our contact page to find out how KC Road Lawyers can help you with your Missouri child support.