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The process of child support modification

There are circumstances in which a child support order created in a Missouri court may be altered. For instance, if an individual experiences a change in income, it may result in a change in the amount paid to a custodial parent each month. A child support order could also be altered if one or more children are no longer eligible to receive financial assistance. This could occur if a child turns 18 or gets married prior to reaching the age of majority.

When considering a request to modify a child support order, a judge will take the child's best interests into account. Therefore, it may be necessary for a parent to continue to pay child support even after a son or daughter reaches the age of majority. For instance, a person with special needs may not be able to work or otherwise support him or herself without help.

Because the child's best interests are the top priority, there is generally a high bar to clear when asking for a payment to be reduced. To receive a modification or cancellation of a child support order, a parent must list valid legal reasons why the order is not appropriate. A copy of any complaint made must typically be given to the other parent prior to a hearing.

If a parent has an issue with a child support order, it is generally permissible to raise that issue in front of a family court judge. However, it may be worthwhile to attempt to resolve the matter through negotiation. This may be done either privately with the other parent or with the help of a mediator. The benefits of mediation include less acrimony between parents and setting a better example of conflict resolution for children.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
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