Child support is a form of monetary support paid from one parent of a child to another. Child’s support is court-ordered. While these orders frequently stem from divorce cases, they can also result from free-standing legal actions involving two unmarried parents. Every state has some form of child’s support system in place, and Missouri is no exception.
Whether you are going through a divorce or have a child as an unmarried couple, it is important to understand how child support works in Missouri. The courts will ultimately determine the appropriate amount of child support in your case, but having the right attorney on your side could give you a chance to be heard.
What Does Child Support Cover in St. Louis?
There are numerous types of expenses that child’s support could cover. This money is intended for the basic necessities including their food, clothing, and housing. This support could also cover other expenses related to the education or entertainment.
First and foremost, child support is used to pay for a child’s basic necessities. This support covers the cost of their housing, food, clothing, and transportation. The primary purpose of child’s support payments are to ensure that he is well fed and has a safe, comfortable place to live.
Child’s support is also used to pay for the medical care of a child. If the child is covered by health insurance, these funds could be used to pay for any medical expenses not covered by the policy. This includes expenses related to dental work, eyeglasses, or emergency room visits.
There are costs associated with educating a child even when they are attending a public school. These costs can mount up quickly. Child support could be used to pay for things like backpacks, school uniforms, or textbooks.
Child support could also covers his entertainment. This could include extracurricular activities like camp or sports. It could also pay for trips to the movie theater or camping.
How is Child Support Awarded in St. Louis?
In Missouri, the courts follow something known as the child support guidelines. These guidelines are effectively a schedule that determines how much of their income a parent is required to pay in support. These payments are made by the non-custodial parent, meaning the parent that does not provide living arrangements for the child.
The process of calculating the appropriate amount under the support guidelines starts with each parent’s gross income. Gross income covers more than just wages. It also includes everything from tips to retirement plans. Any form of income—including government benefit payments—should be used in these calculations.
After identifying gross income, the next step of the calculation is to determine the expenses related to the child. This includes the necessities as well as any additional money for travel or entertainment. Using all of this information, the guidelines will provide a monthly support payment amount.
The court is not bound by this number, but most judges go with what the guidelines suggest. If a parent can show that the payment under the guidelines is unjust, the court has the power to increase or decrease that payment amount. Our firm could help ensure that the amount of support awarded in your case is reasonable and adequate.
Child Support Can Be Modified In The Future
In legal terms, Child support order is a “final” order. That does not mean the support order cannot be amended in the future. The law allows either parent to seek a modification to the support order in cases where continuing under the current payment amount would be unreasonable.
Typically, the court will only make changes to this amount when the material circumstances have changed. This commonly involves one parent losing their source of income or seeing a dramatic wage increase.
Learn How a St. Louis Divorce Attorney Could Help
Child support is one of the most important aspects of family law. If you are facing child support issues, you do not have to deal with them on your own. Let the attorneys at St Louis Divorce and Mediation help. Call right away to schedule your initial consultation.