Child Support in Lawyer St. Louis, MO
Addressing Child Support in St. Charles, St. Louis & Chesterfield
If you have children and are going through or considering divorce (dissolution of marriage), child support is one of the issues that will need to be addressed. At Cavanagh & Associates, we can help you handle child support proceedings with professionalism and skill, to protect your financial security and your child’s well-being.
St. Louis child support lawyer Jack Cavanagh understands the nuances of Missouri’s child support guidelines and also recognizes the importance of a beneficial support arrangement. Using over five decades of legal experience, he leads our firm in developing legal strategies that address our clients’ individual needs in divorce, custody, and child support matters.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a periodic and regular payment, usually expressed in monthly amount and paid by one parent to the other parent to help pay the costs of caring for a shared child. Although child support was historically paid by the “non-custodial parent” to the “custodial parent,” those terms are no longer used.
With the changing customs and practices applied in making child custody orders, the designation of “custodial” parent is blurred. With more and more actual “50/50” physical custody schedules, there may not even be a parent who would have been designated as “custodial” and one who designated “non-custodial.”
“Parent Paying Support” & “Parent Receiving Support”
Today, the terms “parent paying support” and “parent receiving support” are less likely to cause contention or concern. Child support payments are calculated based on the income of both parents. The income calculation includes job-related income, including overtime and bonuses if historically consistently received, interest income, business income, rental income, investment income, dividends, and other types of income.
For divorcing parents, if there is spousal support (“maintenance”) paid by one parent to the other, that support is subtracted from the income of the parent paying support and added to the income of the parent receiving support when preparing the required Presumed Child Support Calculation Worksheet.
Additionally, overnight stays may affect child support payments:
- Child support guidelines include factors such as the number of overnight stays per year the children spend with each parent.
- The number of overnight stays with the “parent paying support” translates into a “child custody credit” in the form of a reduction from what the paying parent would otherwise pay to the receiving parent.
- The more overnight stays with the paying parent, the greater the percentage and amount of the “child custody credit.”
Presumed Child Support Calculation Worksheet
In Missouri, the Presumed Child Support Calculation Worksheet is commonly called “Form 14.” The costs of health, dental and vision insurances, work-related child care, ongoing medical and other special needs expenses, and other factors are also considered. The guidelines for determining child support are comprehensive and some of the rules can be complicated and confusing. This makes it all the more important to involve a skilled St. Louis child support attorney.
Contrary to instinct or common belief, the paying parent’s ability to pay is rarely directly considered when determining child support:
- In cases of 50/50 physical custody, if one parent earns substantially more than the other, there will likely still be a child support order.
- In cases of 50/50 physical custody in which the income of the parents are nearly equal, there may not be any child support ordered.
To have your questions answered regarding child support, contact the attorneys at Cavanagh & Associates to schedule a consultation. We help parents in and around St. Charles, St. Louis, and Chesterfield. We can talk to you about your concerns and provide frank answers to your questions, helping you understand your rights, responsibilities, and legal options regarding child support and other areas of your divorce or paternity matter.
We're ready to hear from you. Give us a call at (314) 309-2799 to get started.
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