Missouri Child Support Lawyers
How Child Support Gets Calculated in Missouri
An Awareness Guide for Spouses Going Through a Divorce
As a spouse going through divorce, you face several obstacles - most notably, getting through the legal process.
And that's where this guide will help you. As you can imagine, starting the proceedings unprepared or uneducated about your options is a mistake.
After you read the following information, you'll be able to make informed, intelligent decisions about your divorce. My experience as a lawyer practicing exclusively in family law and domestic relations gives me unique insight into your situation. So I encourage you to also use me a source to calm your concerns.
I'm happy to answer your questions and evaluate your situation - without any obligation. Call me today at (314) 322-8515.
Of course, I know many people have reservations about working with lawyers. That's why my practice is dedicated to educating prospects and clients.
After all, when you know what goes on behind the divorce process and understand why certain events happen, you can better project problems and create a more predictable outcome.
Tonya D. Page
Custody is a key component that determines whether you're required to pay child support after a divorce in Missouri.
If you have physical custody and your child is with you most of the time, then you could be due financial support. But if the situation is reversed, you may be responsible for paying support to your former spouse.
Keep in mind, though, custody is only one factor the state of Missouri takes into account when calculating support payments. Other factors include both parents' incomes, any large disparity between those incomes, who pays for essentials such as health care or day care, and any special needs or extraordinary expenses.
Also, an unemployed parent is not exempt from paying support. Judges can determine payments based on previous jobs or skill sets used to impute income to an unemployed or underemployed party. So don't mistakenly believe you can simply refuse to pay support if you are unemployed.
Another mistake is thinking you can delay payments until your divorce gets finalized. Judges can enter an order for temporary support while your case is pending. They can also make child support retroactive to your divorce filing date, causing you to owe a large lump sum if you have not made child support payments during the pendency of the case.
So, if you know you'll be required to pay child support, begin making payments immediately. Waiting only leaves you at risk for a large payment penalty later on. Even if you and your lawyer come up with different calculations than what's later determined by the court, showing initiative will help create a positive impression on the judge.
For situations where income is reduced due to unexpected circumstances or serious injury/illness, an attorney can help you petition for a child support modification.
What's more, because the state of Missouri has a specific formula for determining how much child support parents should pay, even parents who can agree on an amount may need support from a divorce lawyer when submitting their plan to a judge. Your divorce attorney can help ensure nothing gets left out and your agreement gets approved by the court.
Of course, parents who can't agree on child support payments may need legal representation even more, because a judge will probably end up deciding the amount of child support payments. The advice of an experienced Missouri divorce lawyer is essential in these cases. After all, incomplete or incorrect representation of your finances could lead to severe financial stress, wage assignments (deducting unpaid child support from your salary), or even criminal charges.
Schedule your free divorce assessment today by calling (314) 322-8515.