Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Child Support

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Who gets to claim the kids for federal and state income tax purposes?

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Military Family Law, Paternity, Property Division
There are many ways that the income tax dependency for children in divorce can be handled, although most of them are not supported by the law.  If the parties are in agreement, then nearly any method of claiming the children can be used, including alternating years, splitting the deductions between the parents (in the case of multiple… Continue Reading

Order Requiring Parents to Share in Unlimited Expenses is Unenforcable

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Modifications
A dispute that Missouri family law attorneys see on a regular basis is the sharing of children’s extracurricular activity expenses. Under Missouri law, the Court can require parents to share certain expenses, over and above the monthly child support amount. Included in these expenses are extracurricular activities, educational expenses, uninsured medical costs, and any other extraordinary costs. The… Continue Reading

Child Neglect Shown in recent Decision

Posted in Adoption and Guardianship, Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Guardian Ad Litem, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
In a recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals, clear, cogent and convincing evidence supported a finding of neglect in protecting the child, maintaining the household, and supervising the child.  "If a parent is unable to pay for all of a child’s financial needs, he or she has a duty to provide as much… Continue Reading

Less than 1 year before paternity “disestablishment” statute of limitations goes into effect

Posted in Child Support, Modifications, Paternity
Missouri’s paternity disestablishment law, enacted in August 2009, allows men who have been declared the father of a child by a court or the Division of Family Services to set aside (overrule) the finding of paternity and terminate child support and child support arrearages. Under this law, alleged fathers wishing to file such an action were… Continue Reading

Missouri no fault divorce – what it does and does not mean

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division, Trials
Similar to other states, Missouri is a modified no-fault divorce state. However, there is some misconception out there about what this actually means for divorcing parties in Missouri. Modified no-fault divorce means that a party does not have to prove that their spouse committed some kind of misconduct, such as adultery, abandonment, financial, etc., in order for… Continue Reading

Court clarifies confusing child support statute pertaining to college course requirements:

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
The Missouri statute that mandates the continuation of child support after age 18 if the child attends college was amended in 2007, and provisions were added that are somewhat contradictory. In a recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Court clarified the statute, as well what will cause a child to fail to meet… Continue Reading

If you pay child support per a Missouri judicial or administrative order and your income is reduced or lost – A Motion to Modify is required.

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity, Trials
In today’s turbulent economic climate, where job losses or reductions in income are frequent, it is critical to immediately deal with a child support order upon any significant change in income. Failure to act quickly can lead to an even greater financial disaster.  Here’s why: In Missouri, a child support order, regardless of whether it is… Continue Reading

When Child Support Terminates in Missouri; Requirements for the Continuation of Child Support while the Child Attends College

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Modifications
Generally, in Missouri child support terminates when a child dies, marries, enters the military, becomes self supporting, or turns 18. However, child support can continue after age 18, and all the way to age 21, if the following requirements are met: If the child is enrolled in and attending high school when he or she turns… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Filings Up Substantially in 2009

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
As a practicing family and bankruptcy attorney, I consistently run into cases where people are dealing with both a divorce (or other family law related matter), as well as a bankruptcy.  This is because, many times, one is the cause of the other (this works both ways), and the cases often go hand in hand. That is probably no surprise… Continue Reading

Temporary breaks in post-secondary vocational education do not violate the continuous enrollment requirement of Missouri’s post-secondary education child support law.

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Paternity
Child support in Missouri can continue after the child turns 18, and until 21, if the child is attending a post high school education program, provided that several requirements are met.  (See RSMo section 452.340.5 below in the extended post).   One such requirement is that the child be continuously enrolled in the education program. A recent ruling from… Continue Reading

Recent Case: Termination Of Incarcerated Parent’s Rights Reversed

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
In a recent termination of parental rights case, the Court stated that statutory grounds of abandonment, neglect, and unfitness require clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. The Incarcerated parent’s diligent efforts at maintaining contact with child refuted such allegations. The “Child may suffer from Father’s absence, but getting in trouble before he knew about Child is no… Continue Reading

Unmarried Parents: What you should know and do when served with an administrative order for child support (from the Family Support Division)

Posted in Child Support, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Modifications, Paternity
In Missouri, there are two primary ways that a non-married parent can seek to establish child support, judicial and administrative.   A judicial action is through the circuit court, and an administrative action is through the Family Support Division. The Division is an administrative agency which has the power to issue binding orders for child support,… Continue Reading

New Form 14 Child Support Calculation Sheet Effective August 28, 2009

Posted in Child Support
The Missouri Supreme Court has issued an order repealing the prior Form 14 Presumed Child Support Calculation Sheet effective August 28, 2009., and adopting a new Form 14. The only change is that the dates of birth of the children are no longer to appear on the form, only the children’s ages.   Support amounts are not affected. This… Continue Reading

New Missouri Paternity law signed by Governor takes effect August 28, 2009

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Modifications, Paternity
On July 7, 2009, Governor Jay Nixon signed into law senate bill number 141, which modifies Missouri’s paternity laws, effective August 28, 2009. The new law revises sections 210.826, and 210.828 and adds a new section 210.854, which will now allow men who have been declared the father of a child by a court to petition… Continue Reading

Missouri Legislature passes Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and eliminates requirement that social security numbers be included in family law pleadings and judgments

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Modifications, Paternity
Newly passed legislation will finally enact the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act as of August 28, 2009. Missouri was one of only three states that had not yet enacted the UCCJEA. This act will replace the current Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA). The act limits child custody jurisdiction to one state, avoids competing… Continue Reading

New 2009 Missouri Child Support Guidelines and Basic Support Schedule Now In Effect

Posted in Child Support
Missouri’s new 2009 child support guidelines and basic support schedule are now in effect, as of the beginning of the year. The changes and updates are summarized as follows Credit to paying parent for "other children in their custody "means "other children primarily residing with that parent". There is an increase in the amount of… Continue Reading

Missouri Child Support Guidelines and Case Law – Part 2 – Imputed Income

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Modifications, Paternity
  What happens when a parent tries to avoid a child support obligation because they are not working or only have a small amount of income? Well, in the eyes of the Court, that parent will be treated as if they did have income sufficient to pay the child support. The most common situation is when it… Continue Reading

Domestic Support Obligations and Bankruptcy

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Modifications, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
With so many people facing bankruptcy in the current climate, it may be good news to know (depending on which side you are on, of course) that the bankruptcy does not allow a person owing a domestic support obligation to use bankruptcy as a way to avoid payment of the debt. In fact, virtually any obligation… Continue Reading

Missouri Child Support Guidelines and Case Law: Part 1 – Gross Income, Overtime, and Bonuses

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Paternity
For the purposes of calculating child support in Missouri, the Form 14 calculation is used.  The starting point is the Gross Income of the parties.  So, what does that include and what exactly does it mean?  The following is a summary of the official comments and relatively recent court rulings on the definition. “Gross income" includes,… Continue Reading

New Missouri Child Support Guidelines Take Effect January 2009

Posted in Child Support
On October 8, 2009 the Supreme Court of Missouri issued an order repealing the current child support guidelines and the formula for calculating the child support amount (Civil Procedure Form 14); and ordered new child support guidelines to take effect as of January 1, 2009.  The changes to the child support guidelines include the following:… Continue Reading

“Incomplete” Grades in College Later Completed With Passing Grades Do Not Terminate Child Support Obligation

Posted in Child Support
The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri has recently held that Incompletes, later completed with passing grades, count as college credit hours under statute determining continuation of child support obligation past the age of 18 years.    Generally, a parent’s child support obligation terminates when the child reaches the age of… Continue Reading

What California’s Same Sex Marriage Law Means to Missourians

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Pre-Nuptial Agreements
As most people know, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  So what does that mean for Missourians?  In California, there were two statutes that said that a marriage is between a man and a woman, which was interpreted to prohibit same sex marriage.  The Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (House Bill 1358) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (House Bill 1360), failed to pass during final week of 2008 legislative session

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Modifications
Two proposals by the Family Law Section of the Missouri Bar failed to pass in 2008.  House Bill 1358 proposed to enact the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act.  Missouri remains one of only four jurisdictions that has not adopted the Act.  If adopted, the act would have changed the rules pertaining to initial child… Continue Reading

Should Your Child Have a “Gap Year” Before College

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Marriage and Family
Princeton encourages it. Harvard’s a big fan. From Tufts to MIT, some of the most prestigious universities in the nation are urging students to consider something that would make most parents cringe: The idea of putting off college for a year in favor of some much-needed down-time.  It’s called a “gap year.” And while it’s… Continue Reading