An Experienced Divorce and Child Support Lawyer in Columbia, MO
With 15 plus years of experience behind her, Tana Benner is well versed in family legal issues, including child custody and support payments.
Tana knows she represents families at their most vulnerable time. Therefore, communication with the firm regarding confidential or time sensitive information is handled with respect and promptness. Child custody is one of the more complicated legal issues to navigate. Benner Law is your family lawyer serving Columbia, Missouri and surrounding areas.
When is Child Support Ordered?
If you have a child with someone you are no longer in a relationship with, there are likely custody, parenting time, and child support issues to legally settle.
Child support is ordered in both divorces and in cases where parties were never married. A parent with less than half of the annual overnights, or the parent with the higher income, is usually required to pay until the child is 18 or 21, depending on whether the child attends college.
The parent who pays is referred to as the “paying parent,” or the “payor.”
How is Child Support Calculated?
The guidelines use tables and worksheet calculations to determine which parent pays support, and how much they will pay. You can find the Form 14 – Child Support Calculation worksheet online.
At minimum, you need the following information to calculate an estimated amount:
- Your gross monthly income (before taxes)
- The other parent’s gross monthly income
- The amount of child care expenses, paid by each parent per month
- The cost of health insurance coverage paid by each parent per month
- The number of overnights the parent who is paying support (the parent with less than half of the time or who makes more money if the time is split equally) has with the child or children
During the initial consultation, Benner Law will single out additional factors, such as paying for other children, that influence the amount.
Legal paperwork like Form 14 can be confusing to complete. It’s best to have the experienced hand of a child support lawyer assisting the process. If you have any questions regarding payments, call to schedule an initial consultation. As a sole practitioner of her law firm, Tana has placed the utmost importance on the attorney-client relationship.
Child Support Modifications
It is established or modified by the Missouri Department of Social Services – Family Support Division, or through a court action. The Family Support Division will only modify an existing order every three years.
Through the court, you can modify support if there is a change in circumstances that results in an increase or decrease of 20% from the original calculated figure. It is best to consult with an attorney to determine a successful path that is most beneficial to you and your children.