Missouri Child Support Calculator

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Court may increase support if combined income is more than $30,000.

Missouri Child Support

Child support ensures that both parents provide financially for their child and that the child has the same (or similar) standard of living that they would have if parents lived together.

When parents divorce or legally separate, child support is automatically addressed in their family court case as part of their parenting plan.

Unmarried parents can get a child support order in a paternity or custody case or through the Family Support Division.

Frequently asked questions about Missouri child support

Keep in mind that child support is a right of the child — not of either parent. A parent can't give up their parental rights to avoid paying, and they must pay even if they don't have legal custody or parenting time.

Which parent pays child support?

The parent with less parenting time pays the parent who has the majority of parenting time. Parents' genders aren't a factor in who pays.

How does Missouri calculate child support?

Payments are calculated using the Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet. Commonly referred to as Form 14, it's required in all cases. (You can also use the calculator above to estimate your support amount.)

The Missouri child support calculation considers:

  • The number of children in the case
  • Each parent's monthly income
  • How much each parent pays for work-related child care, health insurance for the child and other agreed-upon expenses (e.g., extraordinary medical costs)
  • How many annual overnight visits the noncustodial parent has

The receiving parent spends their portion of the calculated obligation directly on the child, while the paying parent pays their portion to the other parent.

Parents can agree to deviate from the Form 14 total in an uncontested case or settlement. In trials, judges typically order the Form 14 amount, but they may deviate if evidence shows a different amount would be more reasonable and better meet the child's needs.

How does parenting time affect child support?

When the paying parent has 36 to 183 overnights a year in the residential schedule, they deduct a percentage from their support obligation.


Number of annual overnightsPercent adjustment
Fewer than 360%
36-726%
73-919%
92-10910%
110-11513%
116-11915%
120-12517%
126-13020%
131-13623%
137-14125%
142-14727%
148-15228%
153-15829%
159-16430%
165-17031%
171-17532%
176-18033%
181-18334%

A judge may rule against the adjustment if parents have significant income differences or if one parent pays for the majority of child-rearing costs not included in the calculation (e.g., clothing and extracurricular activities).

Is child support required when parents have joint physical custody?

Typically, yes. However, if parents have similar incomes, similar child-rearing expenses and an equal number of overnights, they may agree — or a judge may order — that child support isn't necessary.

When does child support end?

Child support may end when the child turns 18 or graduates high school — whichever is later. However, Missouri requires support to continue until age 21 if the child does both of the following:

  • Enrolls in a university, community college or vocational school by October 1 following their high school graduation
  • Completes at least 12 credit hours per term and earns passing grades in at least six

Child support ends if the student graduates, stops attending or gets married before turning 21.

Additionally, if a child becomes legally emancipated before turning 18, support ends.

How is child support paid?

The paying parent doesn't pay the receiving parent directly. Instead, Missouri's Child Support Program collects and distributes the money. Payments can be submitted online, by mail or in cash at certain retail locations.

In some cases, the judge may issue an income withholding order so payments are automatically deducted from the paying parent's paychecks.

The receiving parent can get the funds on a prepaid debit card or via direct deposit.

Can a parent deny the other parent access to the child for not paying?

No. The residential schedule must be followed regardless of late, partial or missing payments.

Can a parent not pay if they don't like how the other parent spends money?

No. The paying parent has no say in how the other parent spends money, and the court doesn't hear complaints about this.

Family Support Division

The Family Support Division (FSD), part of Missouri's Department of Social Services, runs the statewide Child Support Program.

The FSD automatically opens child support cases for divorcing and unmarried parents who receive or apply for public assistance, such as food stamps.

Parents who don't receive public assistance can also use the FSD to get a child support order and establish paternity. However, the FSD doesn't handle custody or parenting time, so parents who need orders for these issues should go through the family court process.

Each county has a Family Support Office (also called an FSD Resource Center) that assists parents with child support paperwork.

Changing a child support order

A child support order can only be modified if a significant and ongoing change in circumstances (e.g., a big shift in a parent's income) makes the current payment unreasonable.

If recalculating a payment with updated information results in at least a 20 percent difference, a judge will modify the order. A judge might also modify an order when there's less than a 20 percent difference, depending on the circumstances.

Additionally, an order that includes multiple children can be modified when one of the children becomes ineligible for support.

How to request a change

If family court issued the order, either parent can file a Motion to Modify Child Support at any time.

If the FSD issued the order, either parent can request a review every three years. (Three-year reviews are automatic if a parent or child involved receives public assistance.)

The FSD only changes an order sooner if:

  • A child needs to be removed or added
  • A parent has had a 50 percent (or more) change in income for at least three months and expects the change to last for at least another six months

In all cases, if one parent objects to the other's modification request, they can ask for a hearing so a judge can decide if the child support order should be changed.

Enforcing a child support order

When unpaid support reaches the equivalent of one month's payment, the receiving parent can file motions in family court or contact the FSD for enforcement.

Enforcement actions can include:

  • Income withholding from paychecks
  • Suspension of driving and recreational licenses
  • Interceptions of tax refunds and stimulus payments
  • Liens on vehicles, homes and other property
  • Civil or criminal contempt of court charges, which can result in fines and jail time

If a parent or child receives public assistance, the FSD automatically enforces unpaid support.

Getting an accurate child support order

Attorneys and the court usually estimate parenting time because calculating it manually is tedious. But this can impact your child support order by thousands of dollars.

Luckily, the Custody X Change app lets you quickly and accurately calculate your exact number of overnight visits in a year.

You can tweak your schedule in the app to see how even little changes affect your timeshare. And you can see how your overnights fluctuate each year due to holidays and other events.

Whether you're paying or receiving child support, make sure your parenting time calculation is exact. The number could affect you, your child and the other parent for years to come.