modify child support payments in missouri

Child support laws are designed to ensure that children receive financial support from both parents, even if they are no longer together. The amount of child support is typically determined based on the income of both parents and the needs of the child. Understanding how to modify child support payments in Missouri is crucial for both parents involved. Life circumstances can change, affecting a parent’s ability to pay or the child’s financial needs. Modifying child support requires navigating legal procedures and providing evidence of substantial changes in circumstances, such as income changes, medical emergencies, or adjustments in custody arrangements. By understanding this process, parents can ensure that child support payments reflect current realities and adequately support the child’s well-being.

At Wegmann Law Firm, our team of experienced child custody attorneys can help you seek modification of your child support or custody to fit your new needs. We offer personalized consultations and work hard to protect you and your family.

Eligibility for Modification

In Missouri, modifying child support payments requires demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order was issued. A substantial change in circumstances is typically defined as an event or condition that significantly alters the financial situation of one or both parents or the needs of the child. 

The courts in Missouri consider various factors when determining whether a modification is necessary, including:

  1. Loss of Job: If the parent responsible for paying child support loses their job involuntarily, they may petition for a modification based on reduced income.
  2. Change in Income: Any substantial increase or decrease in income for either parent can potentially justify a modification of child support payments.
  3. Medical Emergencies: A serious illness or medical emergency affecting the financial stability of either parent or the child may warrant a modification.
  4. Change in Custody or Visitation: If there is a significant change in the custody arrangement or visitation schedule, it could impact child support obligations.
  5. Educational Needs: As children grow older, their educational needs may change, such as tuition expenses for college, which could justify a modification.

Steps to Modify Child Support Payments

Step 1: Gathering Necessary Documentation:

  • Income verification: Provide recent pay stubs, tax returns, and any documentation of changes in income.
  • Expenses related to the child’s care: Include medical bills, educational costs, and other relevant expenses that impact the child’s support needs.

Step 2: Filing a Petition for Modification:

  • Complete and submit the necessary forms (Form 14): Obtain Form 14 from the Missouri Courts website or local court, fill it out accurately with updated financial information and reasons for modification, and submit it to the court handling your child support case.

Seek Help For Your Child Support 

Changing child support payments often seems complicated or daunting to many parents. Some choose not to bother with going back to court, even if it means taking on more of the cost. This is not fair to you or your children, so we are here to help make the process as easy as possible.

At Wegmann Law Firm, we are here for you. Our experienced child custody lawyers have decades of experience in these matters, and know how to help. Request a consultation today to get started.