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Missouri Child Support Modification

Child support is often a contested issue in any separation or divorce. Usually, the argument isn't about whether a non-custodial parent must pay child support, but instead how much should be paid, especially in light of each parent's financial situation. However, the financial status of both parents can change after a child support order is issued, sometimes rendering the original order unreasonable. For example, what if a child support order is issued and then the paying parentis terminated from a job while the paid parent wins the lottery? Because circumstances can change, states like Missouri allow for a child support modification process.

When it comes to an initial child support order, Missouri allows parents to obtain the order administratively through the Missouri Family Support Division (FSD), or judicially through the courts. Both orders are be based on the Missouri Supreme Court's child support guidelines set forth in "Form 14."

Both FSD-ordered and court-ordered child support are also subject to modification after the fact. However, while a Missouri court can modify court-ordered child support and FSD-ordered child support, the FSD can only modify FSD-ordered child support. The parent requesting modification of any child support order usually has the burden to establish a significant change in circumstances.

Overview Of Missouri Child Support Modification

The chart below contains specific references to laws relating to Missouri Child Support Modification.


  • Missouri Revised Statutes Section 452.730 (modification of maintenance or support judgments)
  • Missouri Revised Statutes Section 452.340 (relevant factors for child support)

Grounds for Modification

The provisions of any judgment respecting maintenance or support may be modified only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.

Factors Used To Determine Child Support

The court considers the following factors when determining child support:

  1. The financial needs and resources of the child;
  2. The financial resources and needs of the parents;
  3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs;
  5. The child's physical and legal custody arrangements; and
  6. The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Resources Related To Missouri Child Support Modification

Learn More About Child Support Modification in Missouri from an Attorney

As you can see there are a few different options when it comes to obtaining and modifying child support orders in Missouri, as there is an administrative process (FSD) and a judicial process. Whatever process you utilize, it's important to first speak with an experienced child support attorney in Missouri who can not only answer your questions but also advocate on your behalf.

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