In the state of Missouri, it is generally required that both parents are obligated to support their children after a divorce. Parents are often asked to provide both financial support as well as emotional support in the form of regular contact with the children. When determining the amount of child support a parent will provide to a child, a court will take a look at several factors.
The court will look primarily at the needs and resources of the children as well as the resources of the parent. A child support order may also take into consideration how much time each parent spends with his or her son or daughter. Any order to provide support may also take into account the lifestyle that the child would have been accustomed to if the marriage had not ended.
Parents are generally no longer required to provide financial support to children after they have reached the age of 18, enter the military or get married. However, if the child is enrolled in school at age 18 or has special needs, a parent may still need to make support payments as ordered by the court. In that scenario, support continues until ether age 21 or the program has been completed depending on which happens first.
Child support payments are often thought of as a means to provide for the best interest of a minor. Therefore, an order to provide support tends to be enforced strictly. Parents who have not received child support payments as ordered or who wish to change the amount of their support obligations may wish to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney. Legal counsel can help determine the available ways of enforcing the obligation as well as be of assistance to a parent who wishes to modify the amount that is owed.
Source: Missouri Revised Statutes, “Chapter 452 – Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Alimony and Separate Maintenance”, Aug. 28, 2014