While it is not mandatory to hire a lawyer for your child support case in Missouri, it is always a good idea to have an experienced St. Louis child support attorney in your corner.
This is especially beneficial if your case is a complicated one, where you and your spouse are unable to arrive at custody and support-related decisions. In such cases, the court judge will pronounce the verdict. Having a lawyer represent you can help you get a positive outcome.
Let’s find out more about the factors that go into determining child support in Missouri. Let’s find out more about the factors that go into determining child support in Missouri.
Determining Child Support in St. Louis, Missouri
When couples with children divorce, the household splits into two. In some cases, the children are ones who grapple with the division of resources. Further, the cost of maintaining two households tends to be considerably higher than the cost of running a single home.
The Missouri Supreme Court has issued several charts, based on which child support payments are calculated. These calculations are determined on the basis of the following:
- Number of children
- Gross income of both parents
- Financial needs of the children
- Education, child care, medical, and other expenses
Making sense of Missouri’s child support terms and calculations can be complicated. An experienced St. Louis child support attorney can help you interpret them and work out an agreement that helps you meet your children’s needs.
Moreover, considerations like taxes, defining gross incomes from multiple sources, and upward/downward departure can be perplexing for parents who are already stressed over their divorce. It is, therefore, best to work with a skilled child support lawyer, who can help facilitate a fair allocation of resources.
Responsibilities of a St. Louis Child Support Attorney
An experienced St. Louis child support attorney takes on several responsibilities to help you in your case. Some of them include:
- Explaining the legal process and the issues you can expect to encounter at every stage of the proceedings
- Studying your case thoroughly and guiding you on the next steps through sound legal counsel
- Calculating and estimating the child support payment
- Negotiating with the other party on your behalf
- Representing you, should the case go to trial
- Protecting your rights
Why Hire a St. Louis Child Support Attorney?
While hiring a lawyer may seem like an added cost, it is usually worth it considering the amount of time and effort you will save and the confidence you will gain in your child support case. You may want to seriously consider hiring a child support lawyer in the following circumstances:
- Your Case Is Complex
Your case can become extremely complicated if you and your ex don’t see eye to eye on factors like the amount of child support, terms of the custody arrangement, or the divorce agreement. An experienced St. Louis child support attorney can present arguments that can get you a favorable verdict.
Further, the lawyer will also be experienced in negotiating an appropriate child support amount. It’s no secret that most child custody cases settle out of court, and very few go to trial. Most parents prefer to formulate their own agreements through negotiations between themselves with the help of their lawyers. This is where a seasoned attorney can help increase your chances of getting what you want and retaining your rights.
You can always depend on your attorney to negotiate while keeping you and your children’s best interests in mind.
- The Other Party Has a Lawyer
If your ex-spouse has lawyered up, they have made a powerful ally. Their lawyer will know and understand court processes, and may even be on good terms with the judges. The last thing you want is to struggle with keeping up with legal processes, while your ex’s lawyer makes all the right moves to strengthen their case.
- You Want to Ensure Accurate Calculation
A lawyer will help you calculate and anticipate the amount of child support. An experienced St. Louis child support attorney will know exactly what criteria and information are considered by judges to calculate this amount.
In Missouri, child support is calculated using a fixed formula, which considers the following factors:
- Gross income of both parents
- Child support is paid to children from previous marriages/relationships if any
- Child care or daycare costs
- Number of overnight visitations
- Health insurance costs for the children
A lawyer will be able to provide the most accurate information so you can ensure that the child support amount you receive adequately meets all the needs of your child.
- You Want to Modify Your Child Support Order
A lot of child support cases are closely linked with custody matters. After all, the custody arrangement does directly impact your relationship with your children. Hence, hiring an experienced St. Louis child support attorney can work in your favor.
If you want to modify the existing child support order, you will need to prove that there has been a “substantial change” in your circumstances. Your lawyer can help you understand what this change constitutes. They can also draft the necessary legal documentation that helps the judge understand your modification request.
Dealing with a child support case can be stressful for a regular parent who has no idea of matters related to family law. An experienced St. Louis child support attorney can prove to be immensely helpful in several ways. Most importantly, as a parent, you are able to adequately uphold the best interest of your children with the help of a competent lawyer. Hopefully, the above information will encourage you to seriously consider working with a lawyer who can bring you positive outcomes.
Talk to a Compassionate St. Louis Child Support Attorney Today
The team of child support attorneys at the J. Rench Law Firm LLC will safeguard your rights and interests as a parent, while also upholding the best interests of your children. We routinely handle cases related to the modification and enforcement of existing child support orders. Whether you are the paying or the receiving party, you can depend on us for your child support calculation needs. Consult out experienced St. Louis child support attorneys on (314) 725-4000. You can also contact us online.