Child support goes hand-in-hand with child custody as one of the most contentious issues in a divorce involving kids. That's for good reason: Child custody in Missouri can, to some extent, affect how much child support a parent is required to pay. However, custody is just one of the factors the state of Missouri must take into account when determining support payments. Other factors include both parents' incomes, any large disparity between those incomes, who pays for essentials like health care or day care, and any special expenses parents may be facing. Support payments for a particular child usually end when the child turns 18; payments for any younger children will continue.
Because the state of Missouri has a specific formula that determines how much child support parents can afford, even parents who can agree on an amount may need help submitting their plan to a judge. Experienced divorce attorneys like Tonya D. Page can help clients ensure that nothing is left out, and make their best case to a judge. Parents who can't agree on child support payments may need this representation even more, because a judge or mediator will probably end up deciding on payments. The advice of a divorce lawyer is essential in these cases, because an incomplete or incorrect representation of your finances could lead to severe financial stress, wage assignments (deducting unpaid child support from your salary), or even criminal charges.
Even after a divorce is final, many parents find that new circumstances require that they go back to family-law court. Tonya D. Page can help with:
- Establishing child support payments for a parent who originally had none.
- Changing a child support order to accommodate new circumstances.
- Enforcing child support payments from a parent who has not made them.
- Defending parents whose payments are behind (in arrears) in some cases.
- Child-support matters arising from paternity cases.
One of the toughest parts of being a parent is balancing your own financial needs with the needs of your children. If you're facing a child custody problem, Tonya D. Page can help you find that balance and make your best case to a judge. For a free, confidential and sympathetic case evaluation from an experienced Missouri child support attorney, call the law office of Tonya D. Page today.