Child support obligations can vary by state

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

Child support issues can be contentious for divorced parents in Missouri and nationwide. A study conducted by Custody X Change, a smartphone app that aims to help parents manage child custody and visitation schedules, reveals that support payments can vary widely depending on the state in which the parents live. The potential recalculation of child support may be a significant factor if parents are thinking about relocating. While national statistics can vary widely, Missouri’s average payments are in the second-lowest of four tiers.

There are multiple factors that go into the calculation of child support amounts. The study compared absolute numbers using the same data for each state, where payments were calculated for a hypothetical family with two children, a custodial mother and a non-custodial father, both of whom are employed full-time. Child support payments for the same family with the same income can vary by as much as $700, depending on the state in which they live. While Missouri ranked in the lower middle of the pack, other states had still lower child support assessments, such as the Rocky Mountain states and, surprisingly, New Jersey and Virginia, despite relatively high costs of living.

Cost of living was a major factor in the higher payments in states like Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, but does not point to the higher child support assessments in places like Nebraska or Kansas. Some states still fail to include the mother’s income in their support guidelines. However, an increasing number of fathers have sole, joint, or primary physical custody, even in these states.

When parents decide to divorce, child support can be a major concern. An attorney can work with a divorcing parent to to achieve a fair outcome on the applicable family law legal issues.

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