Missouri’s New Form 14 – Do you need a child support modification?

Recently the Missouri Supreme Court issued changes to the way Missouri Courts determine presumed amounts of child support based on Missouri’s Form 14.  These changes went into effect on July 1, 2017 and could have a potential impact on your current child support order.  Consider some of these changes to determine if you should talk with a lawyer today about a child support modification.

Overnight Visitation Credit

Prior to the new rules taking effect, overnight visitation credits were only allowed for overnight visits up to 109 nights out of the year (a 0% to 10% credit was allowable based on the number of overnight visits).  In cases where overnight visits exceeded 109 nights, the court was allowed wide discretion to award a larger credit within statutory confines.

Under the new Form 14, the overnight visitation credit table expanded to include up to 180 nights with a credit of up to 34%.  The Form 14 provides guidance that a credit of up to 50% can be allowed based on circumstances of the parties and that the credit can apply even if no overnight custody has been ordered.

Other Changes

  • Updated child support amounts that could increase or decrease the Line 5 basic amount of support owed depending on your situation.
  • Updated comments and instructions for third party custodians.
  • Other style and comment changes.

What This Means If You’re Seeking a Child Support Modification

Based on the basic child support schedule change, overnight visitation credits, and some of the other changes to the Form 14, it may make sense for you to seek a child support modification.  If your child support amount was based on the Form 14 guidelines, a 20% change could be enough to justify a modification.  Otherwise, there must be “changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.”  Talk with a family law lawyer today to see if your situation could improve through a child support modification.