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If I Have Joint Custody, Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support?

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In Missouri, even if you have joint legal or physical custody of your child, you may still be required to pay child support depending on factors such as each parent’s income and the parenting time arrangement. Here are some key points about child support and joint custody in Missouri:

  • Income Shares Model: Missouri uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support. This model considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
  • Basic Child Support Amount: The court will calculate a basic child support amount based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children involved.
  • Parenting Time Adjustment: If one parent has the child for more than a certain percentage of overnight visits per year (usually around 35-40%), the basic child support amount may be adjusted to account for the additional expenses incurred by that parent during their parenting time.
  • Income Disparity: If there is a significant difference between the parents’ incomes, the parent with the higher income may still be required to pay some child support to the other parent, even with a 50/50 custody arrangement.
  • Other Factors: The court may also consider factors such as the child’s educational needs, healthcare expenses, and the costs of child care when determining the final child support order.

It’s important to note that child support calculations in Missouri are made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific circumstances of each family. If you have joint custody, you should consult with a family law attorney or the Missouri Child Support Enforcement office to understand your potential child support obligations or rights.

At Raza Family Law Solutions, we practice family law effectively guiding clients through prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modifications of prior judgments, and resolving child custody disputes. We also help families take a different approach to divorce with mediation and collaborative work.  Contact us for a consultation at (314) 408-5957.

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