In Missouri, actions for child support usually arise in one of three ways:
The court may order one or both or the parents owing a duty of support to a child to pay for their support. Most often, child support is a monthly payment from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the benefit of the child.
Below you will find information about child support in Missouri, how it is determined or changed, and when it ends. We encourage you to speak with an experienced child support attorney if you have questions about support.
In Missouri, child support payments can be made directly form one parent to another, through the Family Support Payment Center in Jefferson City, Missouri, or by employer wage deduction. The amount of support is calculated pursuant to Missouri Rule 88 and Form 14, which is basically a formula that figures child support based on the incomes of the parties and other factors. The Form 14 calculation includes the following:
Most of the time, the court will order the amount of child support calculated by the Form 14 (the presumed amount), but the parties can change the presumed amount by agreement, or the court may find that the presumed amount is unjust or inappropriate and order a different amount. In order for the court to change the child support amount from the presumed amount, the court must consider all relevant factors, including statutory and other factors.
Unless the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate otherwise and the court specifically so provides, the obligation of a parent to make child support payments end when the child:
The duty of support continues even though the custodial parent and the child do not live in the same state as the non-residential parent. Also, child support does not automatically terminate, or abate for a period of time, because the child may be residing with the non-custodial parent, or the non-custodial parent does not exercise or is denied visitation. However, after a hearing, the court may abate child support payments in whole or in part for any period of time in excess of 30 days for voluntary relinquishment of custody or denial of visitation if the obligor is current on all payments.
Orders for child support are always modifiable. Administrative orders for child support are periodically reviewed for modification. However, either parent may seek to have the administrative order judicially modified at any time if grounds exist to do so. If the order is pursuant to dissolution of marriage, declaration of paternity, or other judicial order, the child support order may be changed by either parent if the moving party can demonstrate a substantial and continuing change in circumstances, which may include one or more of the following:
If you need assistance establishing, changing or enforcing a Missouri child support order, contact Kansas City attorney Mark A. Wortman by calling 816-523-6100, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing our online form.