If you are navigating a divorce in Missouri and a minor child is involved, one important aspect of the divorce settlement will be the determination of child support payments. Typically, the noncustodial parent will pay the custodial parent support in order to help maintain the child’s standard of living and cover necessary expenses. Calculating child support can be a complex process, but an experienced family law attorney can ensure that you are not paying too much, or receiving too little, in support payments for your child. At the Johnson Law Firm, our team is prepared to assist with this and any other issues that may arise in your Missouri divorce case. Call or contact us today if you’re asking, “How is child support calculated in Missouri?”
The first step in calculating child support is to determine the gross and adjusted monthly income for each parent. Gross income refers to all sources of income prior to taxes and other deductions, including wages, salary, tips, commissions, pensions, retirement plan payments, bonuses, dividends, trusts, interest, and more. Once gross income is calculated, adjustments are made for any other child support obligations and alimony payments. The adjusted income is then divided by both parents’ combined incomes to determine each parent’s proportionate share of the child’s expenses.
Additional costs and which parent bears them are also taken into consideration when determining child support payments. These additional costs include reasonable work-related child care expenses for each parent, health insurance costs, and other expenses for things like extracurricular activities, private school tuition, and more. Once the total additional costs are calculated and apportioned, each parent’s support obligation is calculated by taking the total amount of the child’s expenses and multiplying it by each parent’s proportionate share. One final deduction is made for the percentage of time the parent paying support has custody or visitation before coming to a final child support calculation.
There are also other considerations that can be taken into account when calculating child support payments in Missouri. The state child support guidelines provide guidance on what should be paid, but there are reasons why the court may deviate and order more or less in support payments. Factors considered include the following:
It is also important to note that if a parent that is supposed to make child support payments remains willfully unemployed in order to try and reduce their income in a child support calculation, the court is allowed to impute an income in support calculations based on what the parent should be making if they attempted to gain employment. Talk to an experienced family law attorney today to learn more.
If you would like to speak with an experienced Missouri family law attorney about your child support legal issues, call the office or contact us today at the Johnson Law Firm to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.
The Johnson Law Firm, LLC, can answer your questions about what our legal practices. Contact us for a free consultation. We are located in St. Charles and serve the surrounding areas of Missouri.