Child support is a crucial part of ensuring a child's well-being following a divorce or separation of parents. It can, however, be difficult to understand exactly how this support is calculated. As an experienced Missouri family law attorney, I aim to guide you through the specifics of child support calculation in Missouri.
Missouri Child Support Guidelines
In Missouri, child support calculations follow a set of guidelines provided by the state's Supreme Court. These guidelines ensure that child support orders are equitable and adequate to meet a child's needs.
Income Shares Model
Missouri uses the Income Shares Model for child support calculations. This model begins with the assumption that a child should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have if the parents lived together.
Combined Adjusted Gross Income
The first step in calculating child support in Missouri is determining each parent's income. This includes wages, salaries, commissions, and other sources of income. The incomes of both parents are then combined to find the combined adjusted gross income.
Basic Child Support Amount
The combined adjusted gross income is cross-referenced with the Missouri Child Support Amount Chart to determine the basic child support amount. This chart considers the number of children and the combined parental income.
Determine Each Parent's Percentage of Income
Each parent's percentage of the combined adjusted gross income is then determined. This percentage is the proportion of the basic child support amount that each parent is responsible for.
The amount of time each parent spends with the child can affect the child support amount. A parent with less than 36% of the overnight stays may be required to pay more in child support.
The process of calculating child support in Missouri involves several steps and various factors. An experienced Missouri family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and ensure the calculated child support is fair and just.