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What is Child Support and what does it cover?

Child support is money paid to the custodial parent in order to help cover the child’s basic necessities such as food, housing, and clothing. In Missouri child support covers clothing, food, school lunches, and housing. The purpose of child support is to equalize the standard of living between households.

In Missouri we have guidelines that assist us with calculating the presumed correct child support. They are guidelines and it can be left to the discretion of the judge whether to order the presumed correct child support amount or not.

What does child support not cover? Child support generally does not cover the payment of uncovered medical, dental, vision, orthodontic, and counseling bills. It also does not cover payment of the child’s involvement in extracurricular activities, camps, lessons or tutoring. It may or may not cover the payment of college expenses and it does not cover the payment of private school tuition.

Child support is ordered paid by the parent who has less physical amount of time with the child. If both parents have equal time with the child, then child support can still be ordered paid by the higher wage-earning parent to the lower wage-earning parent in order to equalize standard of living between households.