In Missouri, both parents essentially “support” their child or children, considering that non-custodial parents are often required to pay child support, while the custodial parent supports the children in a more direct way. However, if you are in the process of divorcing, already divorced, or separated as unmarried parents of a biological child/children, you may have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. Below we have provided some information regarding child support we believe will be helpful.
How do insurance costs and daycare affect child support? In most cases, as long as daycare costs are related directly to making it possible for the parent receiving the child support to attend school or work, the child support awarded by the court may be increased. If the custodial parent is paying for the children’s insurance, child support may be increased; if the non-custodial parent covers medical insurance costs, the amount of child support awarded to the custodial parent may also be adjusted accordingly.
Can the amount of child support be changed or modified? A substantial change in circumstances must support a modification of child support payments. Basically, if the amount of the payment becomes unreasonable considering a dramatic change in circumstances and these factors result in a minimum 20% change in child support payments, the modification may be warranted.
Will I have to pay taxes on child support? Child support is not income, and therefore is not taxable. In fact, as a custodial parent you should be eligible to claim your children as dependents on your tax return, in addition to taking child care credits. However, it is important to note that tax laws involving children change occasionally, or factors involving children may be changed by agreement or order of the court. It is recommended that you review all court orders related to your child custody and support case and perhaps a tax professional prior to filing if you have questions.
What is the first step in establishing child support if you are not married to the child’s father? First of all, paternity must be determined if the biological father of your child disputes that he is the father. A judge will order DNA testing prior to your filing a paternity action. Paternity is already presumed established if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, he signed an affidavit at the time of the child’s birth, or the results of a DNA test are positive and already established.
My child’s mother/father filed for bankruptcy, will child support payments stop? Even when an ex-spouse files for bankruptcy, child support payments continue. However, it is vital you consult with a Kansas City divorce attorney if you receive notification that your ex-spouse has filed for bankruptcy, as it could impact other aspects related to your Kansas City divorce, such as spousal support/alimony, agreements regarding medical insurance for the children, etc.
As trusted Kansas City child custody attorneys, we realize that divorce or separation can be emotionally devastating; your life has changed dramatically, and it is often difficult to understand all of the implications regarding your children. For answers to other questions or concerns you may have and for exceptional legal guidance, contact Fisher Law LLC today.