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Courtney & Mills, LLC  Approaching Every Case with Strength, Education and Respect
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Changes To Child Support Calculations In Missouri


Are you heading for a divorce and trying to figure out what your financial circumstances will look like after the child support is calculated? If you have friends or family who’ve gone through a divorce and have already navigated all the ins and outs of child support, they are probably giving you lots of advice.  The trouble is, that advice could be outdated.  Changes in Missouri law and in the calculations worksheet in 2021 mean things could be significantly different for you than for friends who divorced prior to 2021.  To fully understand the new requirements, your best bet is to discuss your circumstances with a knowledgeable, local divorce and child support attorney.

How Much will the Support Payment Be in my Case? 

Under Missouri law, the amount necessary to support a child may differ from case to case. The Essentially, the total gross income of both parents is considered in relation to six key factors:

  • What the child needs and the resources available financially;
  • The resources of each parent;
  • The standard of living previously enjoyed by the child prior to the divorce;
  • The specific needs of the child educationally, physically, and emotionally;
  • The amount of time the child will be spending with each parent and related costs;
  • Child care expenses related to parents’ work schedules. 

When a child has a primary residence in one home, the other parent generally pays some amount of child support on a monthly basis.  Even when physical custody is shared equally, the higher earning parent will most likely pay some amount of support to the lesser earning parent.

Major Changes 

Form 14 is used to calculate payments in Missouri divorces, and you should be aware of relevant changes that could have a significant impact on support obligations:

Individuals who are paying child support to another entity may deduct those payments from gross income computations. For individuals seeking modifications to a previous child support agreement, this new way to calculate gross income could be relevant. Another factor impacting adjustments to support amounts paid is the number of nights the kids spend with each parent. Once the basic support obligation is determined, it can be decreased by six percent if the child(ren) spends between one and 35 nights per year with the parent who pays support. Increased overnight stays result in a corresponding  percentage of obligation reduction, until the point when overnight stays number between 181-183 in a year, and payments drop by 34 percent. In certain situations this drop may be rebutted by the receiving spouse and denied by the court if deemed inappropriate.

It’s Complicated! 

In most circumstances both parents want the best for their children in the event of a divorce.  But working out a child support payment schedule can be a challenging task, both financially and emotionally.  At Courtney & Mills, LLC our knowledgeable Springfield child support attorneys strive to make this and every aspect of divorce as simple and painless as possible. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.


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