Child Support Programs in Missouri
Child support in the state of Missouri include many services that most do not equate with child support. These services include, but are not exclusively limited to: paternity issues, modification of court orders, enforcement, medical orders, locating parents, distribution of funds, and collections. Those who have gone through a divorce and currently have a signed court order indicating custody can apply for child support through the state.
Applying for Child Support in Missouri
In the state of Missouri there are several ways that you can apply. The easiest is to go online: http://dss.mo.gov/cse/appforms.htm However, if you like to fill out the paperwork, then you can access the application via PDF: http://dss.mo.gov/cse/pdf/csebundle.pdf
Family Support Division
PO Box 6790
Jefferson City MO 65102-6790
You can also locate your nearest local/regional office by using the locator application here: http://dss.mo.gov/cse/counties.htm
How much will I be Paid, or have to Pay?
Missouri uses Form 14 to calculate the amount that each parent is responsible for. The court considers many factors in determining the parent’s obligation to pay child support. Some of the factors that they take into consideration include the number of children that need support, their ages, the financial resources of the parents, the standard of living of the child, the child’s educational needs, the child’s medial needs, and their extracurricular activities. A calculator can give you a quick ballpark figure: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/missouri/
Modification of Child Support Payments
Many parents believe that it is a simple matter to amend or modify child support agreements once they are established. This is not exactly the case. In order to modify the order there must be significant change in circumstances which would severely cause harm to the parent making the payments. The other way to modify, asking for MORE money, puts the burden of proof on the parent petitioning for an increase. They must prove that they actually need the additional funds. Many noncustodial parents believe, in error, that they can escape larger child support payments by voluntarily downsizing their job status or quitting work. Some even declare bankruptcy. None of this will stop or modify a child support document. The court considers that any and all monies that you receive to be income, even if it is in the form of lottery winnings, pensions, disability, or retirement. Even if you have joint custody of the child and share equally in the time with the child, one or the other of the parents will be required to pay more child support than the other due to the fact that they make more per year than the other. Likewise, a parent cannot refuse visitation if support has not been paid. Child support matters and custody issues are handled by different departments and are not considered jointing.