Child support is based on the legal theory that parents who do not live together should both support their children financially. It is a recurring payment made by one parent to the other to help them cover expenses associated with raising a child and to ensure that the children have the same standard of living in each household. When setting an amount for child support, a judge must examine the incomes of both parents, the number of children involved, and the existing custody arrangement, among other factors.
You should contact a St. Louis child support lawyer for help with requesting financial assistance from your child’s other parent, modifying an existing court order, or improving your understanding of how it can be enforced. Regardless of your circumstances, a family law advocate could advise you on all your legal options and work toward a favorable resolution on your behalf.
Calculating a Parent’s Financial Obligations
In St. Louis, child support is determined according to the Form 14. The Form 14 considers the parents’ incomes, the number of children who require support, health care costs, maintenance (if any), and the amount of parenting time either party has been given. A St. Louis child support attorney could work to have the amount a parent owes adjusted either upward or downward.
A parent who is either receiving or paying child support can have the amount modified if they are able to demonstrate to a judge that there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances. An example of this could be losing a job, increased expenses of the children, or a relocation of one parent. Anything that substantially affects either parent’s financial circumstances or the children’s financial circumstances could form the basis of successful petition to make changes to a support order.
Enforcing a Court Order
Obtaining a court order if often just the first step in actually obtaining what is due to you. Collecting child support or other expenses due can be difficult to do on your own. An experienced advocate from our team can assist a parent with enforcing a child support order. This can include filing a motion for contempt, a motions for sums due and owing, filing garnishments or wage with-holdings, or contacting the Division of Child Support Enforcement.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
Establishing the identity of a child’s biological father is sometimes necessary in child support cases. Unmarried fathers or mothers in St. Louis can establish paternity in a variety of ways, such as signing an affidavit soon after their child is born or by obtaining a court order establishing paternity. This may or may not involve a DNA test.
Reach out to a St. Louis Child Support Attorney Today
Child support is one of the most challenging issues to litigate because it involves the welfare and protection of your children. Making child support calculations can be quite complex, as one parent may be self-employed or suspected of hiding income to avoid paying a higher support amount. Other issues such as modification and enforcement frequently arise that require additional legal action. One of our advisors could help a parent make an educated decision on how to move forward in these circumstances. Contact a St. Louis child support lawyer today so you can get started on your case as soon as possible.