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What determines a child support order in Missouri?

When two people decide to end their marriage and minor children are caught in the middle, a child support dispute can result. In Missouri, just like elsewhere in the country, parents understand the difficulties of raising children who need all the help they can get from their parents, including financial and emotional support.

When one parent is absent, the custodial parent may find it financially difficult raising the kids alone. This is why child support laws were enacted: to provide financial support for children in separated or divorced families.

If you are in the middle of a divorce you may be wondering how you are going to support your children now that you and your spouse are taking different paths. First and foremost, you need to understand that custody issues can affect child support issues. If the court awards you physical custody of your children you can legally seek child support from the other parent. The courts will consider several factors, such as the finances of you and your ex-spouse, as well as the ability to pay child support. You and your spouse can also create your own child support agreement and have it legally formalized.

If the court did not award child support during the divorce you may be able to seek child support separately, depending on the terms of your divorce settlement. If seeking child support is possible this typically requires a modification of the divorce settlement. This usually means you and your ex-spouse will have to go back to court and talk through your issues again.

Source: Mobar.org, "Child support in Missouri," Accessed on Oct. 8, 2014

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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