Child support has always been among the most contentious issues in divorce and child custody cases. As custody can affect the amount of child support paid, the two issues go hand-in-hand. However, there are other factors the court considers when awarding child support.
Our skilled St. Louis divorce lawyers at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP will work directly with you to resolve your case sensibly and fairly, with a view to helping you move on with your life when domestic litigation is over. If the other side is unreasonable, however, we are willing and able to litigate with zealous advocacy on your behalf.
How Is Child Support Determined in Missouri?
Like many other states, Missouri has a specific formula for determining the amount of child support parents are required to pay. Contributing factors that help determine how much a parent pays for support of a child include:
- Number of children
- Gross income of both parents
- Disparity in income between the parents
- Spousal support being paid to one of the parents
- Who pays for health care, daycare, and other essentials
- Special expenses for the child
When Do You Need a St. Louis Child Support Attorney?
Even parents who agree on the amount of child support may need legal assistance in submitting their agreed-upon plan to the court, due to Missouri’s set formula for determining child support. The court follows established guidelines known as Form 14 to calculate child support. The court will presume that child support is correct, as calculated according to Form 14, unless a party presents evidence of facts and circumstances that cause the court to award a different amount.
It is even more important to have legal representation when parents cannot agree on child support, as payment amounts are likely to be decided by a judge or mediator. In such cases, incorrect or incomplete representation of your financial situation could bring severe financial stress in the future.
Child Support Situations that May Mean Going Back to Court
After a final divorce decree is obtained, life circumstances can change for either or both parties to a divorce. However, child support can only be modified if you show a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that makes the terms of the original court order unreasonable. For this reason, it is important to get it right the first time.
People find themselves in family law court with lawyers in St. Louis to resolve issues such as:
- Changing a child support order to account for new financial circumstances
- Establishing child support payments for a parent who was not previously required to make them
- Obtaining child support in matters arising from paternity cases
- Enforcing child support payments ordered by the court
- Defending parents in arrears on child support payments
At Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP, we look at the attorney-client relationship in family law matters as a partnership to move through domestic litigation effectively, both in results and in cost. Call us to arrange a consultation in our St. Louis office if you are facing a divorce with children or dealing with child support matters.