Co-parenting can be challenging, even for married couples in Missouri who have been together for decades. If you divorce, you may have to resolve numerous issues regarding child custody and child support. If you and your ex disagree about such matters, you may have to leave it up to the court to decide if you’re unable to achieve an agreement.
Perhaps you’ve been a full-time stay-at-home parent during marriage. On the other hand, maybe yours has been a dual-income household. Either way, the court believes your children should be able to maintain the same standard of living to which they were accustomed during your marriage. This belief is often the basis for ordering child support.
Factors of consideration
You might have friends or family members who have navigated a Missouri divorce in the past. Perhaps, they have shared information regarding their custody or child support agreements. While such information might be helpful or apply to your case in some way, no two cases are exactly the same, so it’s best to avoid making assumptions based on another person’s experience.
Instead, you should keep in mind that the court will take numerous factors under consideration when making decisions about child custody or child support. Regarding the latter, yours and your ex’s current income is a priority issue. The number of children you have is also pertinent when determining whether child support is needed. In addition, information regarding monthly expenses may influence the court’s decisions.
Modifying a court order
When a Missouri family court judge hands down a child support ruling in your case, you and your ex must fully adhere to its terms. Certain issues may arise, however, that warrant modification of your court order. For instance, if you’re paying child support and unexpectedly lose your job, you might ask the court to halt or lower your payments for a time.
The key issue here is to remember that an existing court order remains legally enforceable unless and until the court orders modification. This means that even if you have a legitimate reason for requesting a change, you must continue to obey the existing court order until you file a petition for modification and the court grants the request.
Children’s best interests are the top priority
When you decided to divorce, you no doubt understood that your decision would have a significant impact on your children’s lives. However, it need not ruin them, especially if you and your ex are willing to work together in a peaceable manner to devise a settlement that protects your children’s best interests.