Child support is a component of every parenting order involving a minor child. Both parents have an obligation to support their child. The dollar amount, though, is not plucked from thin air. It is based on a court-endorsed formula.
The calculation in both Kansas and Missouri starts with both parents’ gross monthly incomes and looks at whether spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony) is being paid. Support is then calculated using a formula based on those incomes. Then the amount is adjusted for who is paying what for the child’s health insurance, work-related day care, and who is claiming the child as a dependent on his or her tax returns. The age of the child can be a factor — an older child is presumed be more expensive to support than a younger child.
Adjustments may be made by the court based on individual circumstances, such as:
- Does one parent or the other regularly work overtime or receive bonuses?
- Does the child have special needs?
- Is there long-distance parenting involved?
A significant factor in the support calculation is the amount of time each parent spends with his or her child—particularly overnights. Kansas recognizes what is known as a “shared custody” concept whereby
- Both parties have equal or nearly equal parenting time and
- There is an agreement to share common costs during the year, such as jeans, shoes, and a winter coat.
The “shared custody” formula can result in substantially reduced support, because it is presumed that with each parent having 50 per cent of the custody, each parent has nearly equal child expenses to pay from his or her own pocket.
Ralls Law Firm can assist you in running the support numbers.
Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in determining whether you can enforce grandparent rights. Call us at 913 236 7260 or 816 421 4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.