What Are the New Updates to Form 14?
The Missouri Supreme Court has updated the state’s child support calculation worksheet, also known as the Form 14. This new form, used for determining the amount of child support one parent pays to the other, went into effect as of June 30th, 2017. With the new updates, the Form 14 will hopefully be less confusing than previous versions and will yield a more fair and appropriate child support award based upon the financial circumstances of each individual family. Below, we explain some of the changes that have been made to the Form 14 and how they might affect you.
Changes to Be Aware of
This new Form 14 adopted by the Missouri Supreme Court uses the most up-to-date information concerning average expenses incurred on behalf of children by parents in varying income brackets. The child support obligation calculated by the Form 14 is based upon the average monthly expense households spend on children in distinct income brackets—meaning that families with higher incomes have more disposable income to spend on their children, and therefore have higher support obligations than families that have less money. The most recent Form 14 has updated the income bracket thresholds and average support provided to children by their parents for each distinct income level.
The most significant difference between the new Form 14 and older versions is that it provides clear and distinct rules for the application of credits provided to the non-custodial parent for the percentage of time the child spends with the parent paying support (premised on the idea that the more often the child(ren) visited with the parent paying support, the fewer expenses the parent receiving support had for the child(ren) in any given week). Previous versions of the Form provided specified credits to be provided to the parent paying support up to a total of 109 overnights per year (which previously yielded a 10% overnight visitation credit on Line 11 of the Form 14), but left a great deal of discretion to Judges to determine the credit to provide to the parent paying support when the parties’ parenting plan provided the parent paying support more than 109 overnights per year. This caused different Courts, and even different Judges with each Court to often reach very different results when faced with similar situations. In an effort to standardize outcomes amongst varying courts and Judges, the new Form 14 has removed the discretionary nature of the previous Form, and has established 18 separate and distinct overnight visitation credit thresholds, with credits ranging from 0% when the non-primary custodial parent had less than 36 overnights with the child(ren) each year to a 34% credit when the non-primary custodial parent had the 181-183 overnights with the child(ren) each year.
How Do These Changes Impact You?
Missouri law provides that changes in the Form 14 can provide a basis to seek a modification of your child support. While it is good practice to do an annual review of your child support obligation to ensure that it is reasonable based upon the current financial circumstances of both parents and the family, it is especially important to review your child support now that the Form 14 has changed. A change in the income of one of the parents due to a new job or changes to the cost of insurance or daycare for the children, coupled with the changes in the Form 14 may cause your current child support to be too high or too low depending on your family’s individual circumstances. While thedirections used in the new version aim to be concise and reader friendly, properly completing a Form 14 and computing the appropriate child support award for a particular case can be very complicated. Therefore, its best to speak with an attorney to ensure that all of the particular circumstances of your family are properly taken into account when determining your proper child support award.
At Pedano, O’Shea, McGavic & Hogenmiller, LLC, our practice is dedicated solely to family law, and we pride ourselves in knowing the intricate details of the Form 14 to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved in your child support case . We aim to provide the highest level of professional, efficient, and affordable representation for each and every one of our clients. Let us help you today.
Call (636) 742-1418 to speak with one of our Chesterfield child support attorneys.