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Child Support In Missouri

Missouri judges determine child support using the “Form 14" calculation. In addition, Missouri courts and administrative tribunals must also consider the following statutory factors when determining a parent's obligation to pay child support:

  1. The financial needs and resources of the child;
  2. The financial resources and needs of the parents;
  3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child’s educational needs;
  5. The child’s physical and legal custody arrangements, including the time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements;
  6. The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.

While a copy of the "Form 14" can be found here, the required information, and how to apply the other relevant factors, can be highly technical and should be discussed with an attorney if you are facing a divorce with children or a custody proceeding. 

What information goes into Form 14?

The main factor used to calculate child support using Missouri's Form 14 is the gross income of the parents. Gross Income includes all income, earned and unearned, before all deductions are taken out for taxes, retirement, insurance, etc.  While many factors may affect your child support obligation, the following are a few to keep in mind:

  • Number of children
  • Work -related child care costs (daycare)
  • Previous orders of child support
  • Maintenance (alimony) payments
  • Health insurance costs (children only)
  • Uninsured medical costs
  • Educational expenses (private and parochial, elementary, middle, high school, and post-secondary)
  • Number of overnights with the children, also referred to as an "overnight credit."

Child Support Modifications.

In order to modify (increase or decrease) child support, there must be a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing that the payments become unreasonable. Specifically, if the application of the Form 14 factors mentioned above would result in a 20% or more change in the child support obligation, there is evidence of a substantial change in circumstances.  

When Child Support Ends.

Child support ends when the child dies, gets married, enters active duty in the military, becomes self-supporting, or turns 18 unless the child is physically or mentally incapacitated, or the child enrolls in a program of higher education. Missouri’s child support laws differ from those of other states, in that child support obligations may continue well past high school. Child support obligations generally extend until a child turns 18 years old or obtains a high school diploma, whichever happens later.

If a child enrolls in “an institution of vocational or higher education” no later than October 1st following graduation from high school, the child support obligation will continue to be due as long as the child remains enrolled in school and completes at least 12 hours of coursework each semester. Once the child reaches age 21 or “completes his or her education,” whichever comes first, the child support obligation ends. 

Child support issues can be complex and confusing.  If you have questions or concerns about child support issues, please feel free to contact the lawyers at Glaus & Gohn, L.C.   




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