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Form 14

Form 14 – What is it and how does it affect me?

You have a child, are not living with the other biological parent and now you want to know how the form 14 will apply to you and your situation. Before discussing the effects, you need to know what the form 14. In Missouri, the form 14 is used to determine child support obligations by the “paying parent” also referred to as and known as the non-custodial parent. Both parents in Missouri owe a duty to pay support. The non-custodial parent usually satisfies this obligation determined by the Form 14 even where the custodial parent may not necessary require the financial assistance. Per RsMO 452.340 the court must consider meaning factors in determining child support. These factors as listed in the rule are:

(1) The financial needs and resources of the child;

(2) The financial resources and needs of the parents;

(3) The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;

(4) The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs;

(5) The child's physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements; and

(6) The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.

Now that we know what it is, how does it affect you? Of course, it depends. Are you the custodial parent or the non-custodial “paying” parent?

Custodial “Receiving” Parent vs. Non-Custodial “Paying” Parent

If you are the custodial “receiving” parent, it is important that the “paying” parent’s income is not understated and that your income is not overstated. Now is not the time to make your ex jealous with how well you are doing. It is important that the information is accurate, but not the time to trying to overstate income. Likewise, we need to make sure that they paying party is not understated their income in an attempt to lower their percentage of support and therefore the amount that they have to pay out each month in child support. Many people believe that if the paying parent is unemployed and has no income that they will not be ordered to pay support. This is incorrect. The court will impute minimum wage at least to the party who is not working as it is expected that both parties will work.

Also important is that you include any additional children that are in your custody but that are not part of the pending action. This will decrease your obligation for supporting the children od this case given the support required for the other children. Likewise, important to make sure the “paying” part is not overstating the amount of other dependants they have in their household. As you receive a decrease in your obligation, the other party also will receive a lower percentage of the obligation is they do in fact have other children in their custody. While this can be hard to determine, if truly disbelieve, documentation can be requested to verify such dependants.

Another major credit that either party can receive is payments for health insurance and child care for the children that are part of the pending action. Equally as important is reporting the amount of other children that are in your household that you are supporting. However, it then becomes important to be sure that the other party is not claiming children that are not in their custody. While this can sometimes be difficult to determine, if you have doubts that the other party is being truthful, request can be made to the court to prove the dependants. In addition to children in custody, child support received in helping support the children should be reported. A deduction for the paying party is any court ordered child support or maintenance paid to others that are not a party to this case.

The final credit or deduction of support is the amount of overnight stays with the paying parent within one year. While this may be an estimate, the parenting plan that will accompany the agreement will shed light on the amount of overnights.

Based on all of the rules, the Form 14 for both parties should be similar, correct? Unfortunately, it is typically vastly different. Either party tends to try to skew their figures to better fit their goal. For the “receiving” party, the goal is to lower their own obligation percentage which would then increase the amount of child support due by the “paying” parent. The “paying” parent in opposition skew’s the figures to lower their own obligation percentage which would then decrease the amount of child support due by the “paying” parent to the “receiving” parent.

The Form 14 can be a complicated calculated and it is important that the figures are accurate and helpful to the parties goals, as such, you should consult with an attorney prior to jumping into the forms on your own.


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