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CHILD SUPPORT Q & A

As with most areas of family law, child support cases are hardly ever black and white. The case-by-case nature of these issues can make knowing your rights and options difficult. The Buxner Law Firm has provided information everyone should know when in the midst of a child custody case in a question and answer format. Our family lawyers are here to answer your questions and assist you in your efforts.

How is child support calculated in Missouri?
“Form 14” is the standard set by the Supreme Court of Missouri to establish child support payments. Form 14 calculates child support on a number of different factors, including but not limited to:

  • Each parent’s gross income
  • How many overnights the parent paying support has with their children
  • Total number of children
  • Cost of the child/children’s living and health expenses

Can I modify a child support order?
The modification agreement that worked for you previously may no longer be appropriate. If this is the case, you may be able to apply for child support modification. A child support order can be modified through the State by an Administrative Order, and then ordered and signed by a Judge.

Which parent is obligated to pay child support?
Typically, the non-custodial parent or the parent that does not have primary custody will be required by the court to pay child support, so long as that parent has the financial means to do so.

I was divorced a year ago but our agreement did not include a child support order. Can I still apply for one?
Yes, you can absolutely apply for child support at any time. If you received marriage dissolution (aka legally divorced through the Missouri family court system), you can petition for a modification of that agreement to include child support.

My spouse and I are separated, not divorced. Can I still get child support?
Yes, you can apply for child support through the State of Missouri, Division of Family Services.

My spouse isn’t paying child support even though he/she is obligated to. How can I enforce the order?
Missouri’s Department of Family Support has Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) solely dedicated to enforcing child support payments. If your child’s other parent is failing to pay child support, pay it on time, or pay it in full, you can petition with DCSE or contact The Buxner Law Firm directly to hold them accountable and pay what they are obligated by the court to pay. One common method for enforcing child support is wage garnishment.

Can I receive support payments from someone who no longer resides in Missouri?
This happens quite often. If you the person you are receiving child support payments from no longer resides in the state of Missouri, you can continue to receive payment and even file enforcement actions against them if they fail to pay. However, these cases can be difficult, so you may benefit from speaking with an attorney about collaborating with the family law division in the payor’s state of residence.

Still have questions? Ask The Buxner Law Firm! Call us today at (314) 863-6000.

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