What Families Must Know About Child Support Amounts & Payments

If you and your spouse are facing a divorce in Saint Louis, Missouri, the issue of child support weighs heavily. To this end, working with a skilled legal team is crucial to ensure you fully understand the process for how child support amounts are determined.

Here, they answer some frequently asked questions about child support:

How Is Child Support Determined?

Usually, support amounts are determined using the income shares model. This refers to a formula created by the state of Missouri in which the parents enter their financial information in a document called “Form 14.” Based on the result of the data, which includes factors like income and the visitation schedule, one parent is designated to pay support.

Can the Court Decide the Amount?

The court can also decide if there are other factors at play, such as special needs, which increases the necessary amount to adequately raise the child. If the non-custodial parent is unable to pay, or if the custodial parent has a much higher income, the court may also determine a lesser support obligation.

Can the Amount Be Changed Later?

If a financial situation changes, a request can be made to modify the existing child support amount. The parent asking for the modification must be able to show that his or her financial status has substantially altered and continues to shift.

What Happens if Child Support Is Not Paid?

If child support is not paid, the court will order the one who owes to remit payment or face penalties. This can include wage garnishment, fines, jail time and even criminal charges. To note: the receiving parent should still allow visitation under these circumstances, as they are considered two separate issues, and refusing visitation might trigger consequences.

With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact our team.