Child support is oftentimes one of the most hotly contested issues of any divorce or dissolution of marriage involving children. Paternity cases on both sides of the state line also require parents to address this issue. Many factors influence a parent’s appropriate child support obligation. And while some parents will agree on child support, the Court must still find that agreed child support amount is in the child’s best interests.
Kansas courts use a form called a Child Support Worksheet to calculate child support. That Child Support Worksheet considers each parent’s annual gross income as a starting point. The Child Support Worksheet then addresses a number of adjustments that can move a parent’s child support obligation up or down. Some examples of typical adjustments include a child support obligations for other children; an interstate pay differential to account for the difference in the cost of living in different states; payment of the child’s health insurance and work-related child care costs; the percentage of time a parent spends with the child; and which parent claims the child for tax deduction purposes each year.
The above is not all the factors that influence child support in the State of Kansas. But It does provide a sampling of why child support is a difficult issue in Kansas divorce and paternity cases.
Missouri courts use a “Form 14” to calculate child support. Each parent’s annual gross income is only the starting point for calculating the child support obligation. The Form 14 also provides for a number of offsets that are similar to Kansas i.e. health insurance and parenting time. But the Form 14 does not account for claiming the child for tax deduction purposes.
Kansas & Missouri:
One common misconception is the belief that sharing equal parenting time results in neither parent paying child support. While that can happen, often times one parent is still required to pay. The relevant adjustments and each parent’s gross income will dictate how much, if any, support a parent shall pay when splitting parenting time equally.
Only an experienced lawyer, like those at The Flynn Law Firm, can help you understand the many nuances of child support and its adjustments. There can be many pitfalls and missed opportunities and an experienced child support lawyer can help you get the correct orders in place. If you need help in obtaining a correct child support order or help modifying a child support order already in place (whether to increase or decrease child support), call today.