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Unraveling the Mysteries of Child Support Calculation in Missouri (Form 14)

By Alan E. Freed

Every state has its own formula for determining child support. In Missouri, child support is calculated on a child support calculation worksheet known as Form 14. 

Here are a few basic guidelines to help you understand how these calculations are made:

The Form 14 calculation starts with some simple data:

  • Each parent’s gross (pre-tax) monthly income
  • The number of children to be supported. (Support applies generally to children under 18 as well as those from ages 18-21 who are attending college. For more information, see Evy Luckett’s post: “When Does Child Support End?”.)

Missouri then uses a chart that shows how much a family with a certain amount of monthly income spends on average to support one, two, three, four, five, or six children. Here’s an excerpt to show you what that looks like:

Monthly Income One child Two children Three children Four children Five children Six children
6000 943 1415 1686 1883 2071 2251
6050 946 1418 1689 1886 3075 2255
6100 949 1422 1691 1889 3078 2259
6150 952 1425 1694 1893 2082 2263

To the cost of the children’s “basic” expenses shown on the chart, Form 14 adds the cost of health insurance for the children. For example, if a family has $6,000 of monthly income and three children, and the cost for the children’s insurance is $150, the total “combined” child support cost would be $1,836 ($1,686 from the chart plus $150).

The form then divides that cost total cost of support between the two parents based upon the percentage of total income each parent earns. For example, if Mom earns $4,000 per month and Dad earns $2,000, then Mom is responsible for 67% (2/3) of the cost of support. The parent who is paying for insurance is then given credit for that payment before the final calculation is made.

There is one more important step in the calculation. Since both parents will have the children in their care part of the time, the paying parent gets his or her portion of the responsibility adjusted based on how much time the children are in their care. 

Other adjustments may apply in certain circumstances, such as when a parent is paying maintenance (alimony) to the other parent. 

Although we are required to calculate child support using Form 14 in every case, we are not required to use that calculated figure in the judgment if the parents agree on a different figure, either higher or lower.

Child support agreements usually include an agreement on how the children’s “extraordinary” expenses, such as sports, lessons, camps, etc., will be paid for. These are generally shared on a percentage basis (50/50, 60/40, etc.).

This explanation only gives the basics, and every case is different. For a more detailed discussion of how the child support calculation might work in your case, please consult one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal.


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