St. Louis and St. Charles Child Support Attorney
Bringing child support disputes to a successful resolution
Missouri law gives parents certain rights and responsibilities as to the care of their children. Among these is the responsibility for parents to provide financial support for their child or children. Child support orders may be imposed by the court in any proceeding involving a divorce, legal separation, protective orders, or one establishing paternity. In addition, child support can be ordered by the Missouri Family Support Division – Child Support Enforcement. While there are presumptive amounts of child support obligations set by law, the courts have discretion in determining the amount of child support that will be awarded in any given case. Child support can have a significant impact on your and your child’s financial situation, so it is extremely important that anyone who is party to a child support proceeding retain the services of an experienced St. Charles family law lawyer as soon as possible. To discuss your case with attorney Kenneth P. Carp, call our office today at (636) 947-3600.
How is child support calculated in Missouri?
Generally speaking, child support payments are paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Missouri courts use a form known as “Form 14” which determines a presumptive amount based on the gross income of the parents, spousal support being paid to either parent, the number of children, the cost of work-related child care, the cost of health insurance for the children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent during the year. The Form 14 is more than filling in the blanks and Mr. Carp understands how to make sure that child support is calculated fairly. Courts may adjust this amount however, and are required to consider all relevant factors when determining child support, including the following:
- The child’s financial needs and resources
- The parent’s financial needs and resources
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had his or her parents stayed married
- The physical and emotional condition of the child, as well as the child’s educational needs
- The physical and legal custody arrangements, if any, including the amount of time the child spends with each parents and the reasonable expenses associated with visitation
- The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent
Because courts have discretion in the amount of child support they may award, it is advisable that anyone challenging or requesting child support payments retain legal representation. An attorney familiar with the law will be able to present your case in the best light possible, and may be able to secure a much more favorable result in your case than had you proceeded without representation. In addition, courts have the power to modify existing child support orders if either party can show a change in circumstances that would justify such a change. If you believe that you may be in this type of situation, you should discuss your case with a St. Charles family law attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a St. Charles family law lawyer today for a free consultation
Kenneth Carp is a seasoned family law advocate who is committed to bringing his clients’ cases to the best resolution possible. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Carp, call our office today at (636) 947-3600.
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