Determining child support is a highly technical process that requires the use of certain forms, charts, and calculations. In initially setting child support, parties in Missouri will have to fill out Form 14, which asks for many pieces of information – the most important being a parent’s gross income. Gross income is all income a parent makes before taxes, health insurance, and retirement savings are deducted. This also includes income from bonuses, stock dividends, tips, overtime, and many other sources.
Under Missouri law, a court must look at all factors listed in the relevant family law statute. These factors are:
- The child’s financial needs and resources
- Each parent’s financial needs and resources
- The standard of living the child would have had if the marriage remained intactv
- The child’s educational needs as well as the physical and emotional health of the child
- The physical and legal custody arrangements, i.e., the time the child spends with each parent and the associated cost of the custody arrangement
- The child care expenses born by each parent