Judicial Child Support
In Missouri, a child’s parents have a presumptive duty to support their child. For families in which a child’s parents are unmarried, Missouri courts are authorized to order one parent to pay money to another parent for the support of their child. These cases are known as Paternity Cases. The most common situations in which a court may order the payment of child support are actions to dissolve a marriage and actions to determine child support when the parents were never married, a Paternity Case. Whether you are seeking to initiate, modify, or terminate a child support obligation, contact one of the experienced attorneys at the Zolman Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your child-support options.
To initiate a child-support obligation, a court must first designate the parent that is entitled to receive child support from the other parent. In Missouri, the residential parent is the parent that is entitled to receive child support. The residential parent is the parent that has custody of the child for a majority of the time, and the residential parent’s address is the address that will be used for the child’s mailing and educational purposes. Once the residential parent has been identified, the court must determine the amount of child support.
When determining the amount of a child-support obligation, a court must ascertain the presumed child-support obligation. The amount of the presumed child-support obligation is based on the relative financial-circumstances of each parent. Some of these financial circumstances include a parent’s income, child-care expenses, and insurance expenses. Each party will enter this financial information into a Missouri-specific child-support form called a Form 14, and the Form 14 will calculate the presumed child-support obligation. While a court must first consider the presumed child-support obligation, a court may order a child-support obligation that differs from the presumed child-support obligation.
Either parent may move a court to declare that the presumed child-support obligation is “unjust and inappropriate” and request that the court order a different child-support obligation. There are many circumstances in which courts deviate from the presumed child-support obligation, so contact an attorney at the Zolman Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your child-support matter.