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How child support payments are determined

70448784_s (2).jpgParents in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States are generally required to provide financial support for their children. This is typically true whether they are married to each other or not. In most cases, child support amounts are determined by looking at a parent's income and expenses. A judge will also take into account the specific needs of a child when determining how much a noncustodial parent may be required to contribute.

When determining a parent's income, a court can look at a variety of payment sources such as wages, government benefits and pensions. A court may also use any money obtained in the form of a gift, prize of distribution from a trust when calculating a noncustodial parent's monthly child support obligation. If custody is split between two parents, each one may be required to make formal support payments depending on the circumstances of the custody agreement.

Judges are allowed to deviate from state guidelines if there is a compelling reason to do so. For instance, a parent may be required to contribute more than state guidelines call for because his or her child is in college. A judge may also deviate from state guidelines for any reason if it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

Those who fail to make child support payments may face a variety of penalties such as paying late fees or spending time in jail. Parents who are concerned about their ability to keep up with a child support obligation may want to talk to an attorney. A legal professional may help a parent in his or her quest to modify the current support order. Typically, modifications may be made if a parent experiences a loss of income for any reason.

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