Child support often plays a significant role in marriage dissolutions. After all, the outcome of this issue can result in serious financial ramifications. For custodial parents, a favorable resolution can ease the financial strain of raising a child alone. For noncustodial parents, an overwhelming child support obligation can be a financial death knell. With so much on the line, Midwesterners sometimes find themselves aggressively fighting over this issue. Yet, even once a child support order is in place, life changes may warrant a child support modification.
Generally speaking, child support can be modified when there has been a change in circumstances. For example, if a noncustodial parent loses his job, then his lack of income or decreased income, if he finds a lower paying job, may justify a change in a child support obligation. There are two sides to every coin, though, so a support obligation may be increased if a noncustodial parent obtains a higher paying job. Other justifications for child support modification may include the sudden onset of a child’s or parent’s medical condition and a change in childcare costs.
The law in Missouri dictates that child support can only be modified when the changes in circumstances are so significant as to make the current child support obligation unreasonable. Therefore, a court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to modify an existing order. Amongst those factors are the child’s financial needs, the parents’ financial resources, the child’s physical and emotional health, the child’s educational needs and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if his or her parents had not divorced or otherwise ended their relationship.
Child support can reshape a parent’s financial landscape. It can also help ensure that a child has the financial resources he or she needs and deserves. But with so much money on the line, this issue is often hotly contested. This is why Midwesterners who are dealing with child support issues should consider acquiring the assistance of a skilled legal advocate who can help them argue in furtherance of their position.