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Missouri parents may weigh in on child support issues

Child support guidelines provide a baseline for parents to gauge what they may owe or expect to receive. While certain factors in any family may impact the exact amount of child support a parent will owe, the guidelines are clearly set. However Missouri parents may be interested to learn that the courts may soon tackle child support issues related to the current guidelines, and public input is encouraged.

Lawmakers and others, including the Family Court Committee of the Missouri Supreme Court, recently announced that the public will have a chance to speak openly about the guidelines in place and any contemplated revisions. So far, hearings are scheduled in the following locations: Benton, Clayton, Independence, Columbia and Springfield. Comments regarding the child support guidelines can also be sent by mail.

Lawmakers have been debating the role of fathers in child custody and support matters. The focus is on the guidelines, the assumptions typically made and the methodology of how child support works in Missouri. One suggestion is to give fathers a greater say when it comes to child custody disputes in general.

The encouragement for public comment may prove useful to Missouri parents who are confronting these issues or will soon face child support proceedings in court. For parents who currently pay, the guidelines likely played a significant role in the amount ordered, and any change in those guidelines may also affect those parents. Legal support is certainly advised as any parent faces child support payments or feels a change to the payment amount is warranted by means of a court-ordered modification. 

Source: kfvs12.com, "MO Supreme Court wants public input on child support guidelines", Brian Heisserer, Feb. 21, 2016

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