Child Support In Missouri

Child Support In Missouri: Everything You Need To Know

Child support is a crucial aspect of post-divorce or separation arrangements for parents in Missouri. It is a legal obligation for non-custodial parents to provide financial support to their children, ensuring that they have access to the basic necessities of life. If you’re in Missouri and need to understand child support laws, this article is for you.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about child support in Missouri, including how it works, who qualifies, how it’s calculated, and the various factors that affect child support payments. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what to expect and how to navigate the child support system in Missouri.

  1. What is Child Support in Missouri?

Child support is a court-ordered payment that non-custodial parents are obligated to pay to support their children. The payment is intended to cover the child’s basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education. Child support is typically paid to the custodial parent or legal guardian to assist in the child’s upbringing.

  1. Who Qualifies for Child Support in Missouri?

In Missouri, any child under the age of 18 may be eligible for child support. Additionally, children who are 18 years old but still in high school or have a disability that renders them dependent on their parents may also qualify for support. Parents who are separated, divorced, or were never married may also seek child support.

  1. How is Child Support Calculated in Missouri?

Child support calculations in Missouri are determined by the Missouri Form 14. This form takes into account both parents’ incomes, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Missouri uses an income share model, which means the amount of support is based on each parent’s income and the number of children.

  1. Factors that Affect Child Support Payments in Missouri

Several factors can impact child support payments in Missouri, including:

  • Parenting Time: The amount of time each parent spends with the child can affect child support payments.
  • Medical Expenses: If a child has a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment, the cost of medical expenses may be factored into the support payment.
  • Childcare Expenses: If a custodial parent needs to pay for childcare to work or attend school, this expense may also be factored into the support payment.
  • Other Expenses: Any other necessary expenses related to the child’s upbringing may also be factored into the support payment.
  1. Enforcing Child Support Orders in Missouri

If a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent may take legal action to enforce the order. The Missouri Family Support Division (FSD) is responsible for enforcing child support orders in the state. The FSD has several tools at its disposal to enforce payment, including wage garnishment, tax refund intercepts, and suspension of driver’s licenses or professional licenses.

child support in Missouri


  1. What is child support in Missouri?
    Child support is a court-ordered financial support paid by one parent to the other parent for the benefit of their child. The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents contribute financially to the upbringing of their child.
  2. Who is required to pay child support in Missouri?
    In Missouri, both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child. Typically, the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have physical custody of the child) is the one who pays child support.
  3. How is the amount of child support determined in Missouri? 
    In Missouri, the amount of child support is determined based on several factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and any special needs of the child. The state uses a specific formula to calculate the amount of child support owed.
  4. Can child support orders be modified in Missouri?
    Yes, child support orders can be modified in Missouri if there is a significant change in circumstances that affects the ability of either parent to pay or the needs of the child. Examples of significant changes could include a change in income, a change in custody, or a change in the child’s needs.
  5. What happens if a parent fails to pay child support in Missouri?
    If a parent fails to pay child support in Missouri, the other parent can take legal action to enforce the child support order. This could include wage garnishment, property liens, and even jail time in extreme cases. The state also has the power to suspend driver’s licenses, professional licenses, and other privileges of the parent who fails to pay.
  6. What is the difference between a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent in Missouri?
    A custodial parent is the parent who has primary physical custody of the child, while a non-custodial parent is the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child.