MO. REV. STAT. § 452.340
MO. REV. STAT. § 452.370
452.340. 1. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the support of the child, including an award retroactive to the date of filing the petition, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including:
(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, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements; and
(6) The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.
2. The obligation of the parent ordered to make support payments shall abate, in whole or in part, for such periods of time in excess of thirty consecutive days that the other parent has voluntarily relinquished physical custody of a child to the parent ordered to pay child support, notwithstanding any periods of visitation or temporary physical and legal or physical or legal custody pursuant to a judgment of dissolution or legal separation or any modification thereof. In a IV-D case, the family support division may determine the amount of the abatement pursuant to this subsection for any child support order and shall record the amount of abatement in the automated child support system record established pursuant to chapter 454. If the case is not a IV-D case and upon court order, the circuit clerk shall record the amount of abatement in the automated child support system record established in chapter 454.
3. Unless the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate otherwise and the court specifically so provides, the obligation of a parent to make child support payments shall terminate when the child:
(3) Enters active duty in the military;
(4) Becomes self-supporting, provided that the custodial parent has relinquished the child from parental control by express or implied consent;
(5) Reaches age eighteen, unless the provisions of subsection 4 or 5 of this section apply; or
(6) Reaches age twenty-one, unless the provisions of the child support order specifically extend the parental support order past the child's twenty-first birthday for reasons provided by subsection 4 of this section.
4. If the child is physically or mentally incapacitated from supporting himself and insolvent and unmarried, the court may extend the parental support obligation past the child's eighteenth birthday.
5. If when a child reaches age eighteen, the child is enrolled in and attending a secondary school program of instruction, the parental support obligation shall continue, if the child continues to attend and progresses toward completion of said program, until the child completes such program or reaches age twenty-one, whichever first occurs.
If the child is enrolled in an institution of vocational or higher education not later than October first following graduation from a secondary school or completion of a graduation equivalence degree program and so long as the child enrolls for and completes at least twelve hours of credit each semester, not including the summer semester, at an institution of vocational or higher education and achieves grades sufficient to reenroll at such institution, the parental support obligation shall continue until the child completes his or her education, or until the child reaches the age of twenty-one, whichever first occurs.
To remain eligible for such continued parental support, at the beginning of each semester the child shall submit to each parent a transcript or similar official document provided by the institution of vocational or higher education which includes the courses the child is enrolled in and has completed for each term, the grades and credits received for each such course, and an official document from the institution listing the courses which the child is enrolled in for the upcoming term and the number of credits for each such course.
When enrolled in at least twelve credit hours, if the child receives failing grades in half or more of his or her courseload in any one semester, payment of child support may be terminated and shall not be eligible for reinstatement. Upon request for notification of the child's grades by the noncustodial parent, the child shall produce the required documents to the noncustodial parent within thirty days of receipt of grades from the education institution.
If the child fails to produce the required documents, payment of child support may terminate without the accrual of any child support arrearage and shall not be eligible for reinstatement. If the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate, the court may waive the October first deadline for enrollment required by this subsection. If the child is enrolled in such an institution, the child or parent obligated to pay support may petition the court to amend the order to direct the obligated parent to make the payments directly to the child.
As used in this section, an "institution of vocational education" means any postsecondary training or schooling for which the student is assessed a fee and attends classes regularly. "Higher education" means any community college, college, or university at which the child attends classes regularly. A child who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability, as defined in section 630.005, or whose physical disability or diagnosed health problem limits the child's ability to carry the number of credit hours prescribed in this subsection, shall remain eligible for child support so long as such child is enrolled in and attending an institution of vocational or higher education, and the child continues to meet the other requirements of this subsection.
A child who is employed at least fifteen hours per week during the semester may take as few as nine credit hours per semester and remain eligible for child support so long as all other requirements of this subsection are complied with.
6. The court shall consider ordering a parent to waive the right to claim the tax dependency exemption for a child enrolled in an institution of vocational or higher education in favor of the other parent if the application of state and federal tax laws anDELigibility for financial aid will make an award of the exemption to the other parent appropriate.
7. The general assembly finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state that frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage is in the best interest of the child except for cases where the court specifically finds that such contact is not in the best interest of the child. In order to effectuate this public policy, a court with jurisdiction shall enforce visitation, custody and child support orders in the same manner.
A court with jurisdiction may abate, in whole or in part, any past or future obligation of support and may transfer the physical and legal or physical or legal custody of one or more children if it finds that a parent has, without good cause, failed to provide visitation or physical and legal or physical or legal custody to the other parent pursuant to the terms of a judgment of dissolution, legal separation or modifications thereof. The court shall also award, if requested and for good cause shown, reasonable expenses, attorney's fees and court costs incurred by the prevailing party.
8. The Missouri supreme court shall have in effect a rule establishing guidelines by which any award of child support shall be made in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Said guidelines shall contain specific, descriptive and numeric criteria which will result in a computation of the support obligation. The guidelines shall address how the amount of child support shall be calculated when an award of joint physical custody results in the child or children spending equal or substantially equal time with both parents and the directions and comments and any tabular representations of the directions and comments for completion of the child support guidelines and a subsequent form developed to reflect the guidelines shall reflect the ability to obtain up to a fifty percent adjustment or credit below the basic child support amount for joint physical custody or visitation as described in subsection 11 of this section.
The Missouri supreme court shall publish child support guidelines and specifically list and explain the relevant factors and assumptions that were used to calculate the child support guidelines. Any rule made pursuant to this subsection shall be reviewed by the promulgating body not less than once every four years to ensure that its application results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts.
9. There shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines established pursuant to subsection 8 of this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.
A written finding or specific finding on the record in a judicial or administrative proceeding that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, after considering all relevant factors, including the factors set out in subsection 1 of this section, is required if requested by a party and shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption in the case. The written finding or specific finding on the record shall detail the specific relevant factors that required a deviation from the application of the guidelines.
10. Pursuant to this or any other chapter, when a court determines the amount owed by a parent for support provided to a child by another person, other than a parent, prior to the date of filing of a petition requesting support, or when the director of the family support division establishes the amount of state debt due pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 454.465, the court or director shall use the guidelines established pursuant to subsection 8 of this section.
The amount of child support resulting from the application of the guidelines shall be applied retroactively for a period prior to the establishment of a support order and the length of the period of retroactivity shall be left to the discretion of the court or director. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount resulting from application of the guidelines under subsection 8 of this section constitutes the amount owed by the parent for the period prior to the date of the filing of the petition for support or the period for which state debt is being established.
In applying the guidelines to determine a retroactive support amount, when information as to average monthly income is available, the court or director may use the average monthly income of the noncustodial parent, as averaged over the period of retroactivity, in determining the amount of presumed child support owed for the period of retroactivity. The court or director may enter a different amount in a particular case upon finding, after consideration of all relevant factors, including the factors set out in subsection 1 of this section, that there is sufficient cause to rebut the presumed amount.
11. The court may award child support in an amount that provides up to a fifty percent adjustment below the basic child support amount authorized by the child support guidelines described under subsection 8 of this section for custody awards of joint physical custody where the child or children spend equal or substantially equal time with both parents.
12. The obligation of a parent to make child support payments may be terminated as follows:
(1) Provided that the state case registry or child support order contains the child's date of birth, the obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the child reaches age twenty-one if the child support order does not specifically require payment of child support beyond age twenty-one for reasons provided by subsection 4 of this section;
(2) The obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the parent receiving child support furnishes a sworn statement or affidavit notifying the obligor parent of the child's emancipation in accordance with the requirements of subsection 4 of section 452.370, and a copy of such sworn statement or affidavit is filed with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division for an order entered under section 454.470;
(3) The obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the parent paying child support files a sworn statement or affidavit with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division for an order entered under section 454.470, stating that the child is emancipated and reciting the factual basis for such statement; which statement or affidavit is served by the court or division, as applicable, on the child support obligee; and which is either acknowledged and affirmed by the child support obligee in writing, or which is not responded to in writing within thirty days of receipt by the child support obligee;
(4) The obligation shall be terminated as provided by this subdivision by the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division for an order entered under section 454.470, when the parent paying child support files a sworn statement or affidavit with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division, as applicable, stating that the child is emancipated and reciting the factual basis for such statement; and which statement or affidavit is served by the court or division, as applicable, on the child support obligee.
If the obligee denies the statement or affidavit, the court or division shall thereupon treat the sworn statement or affidavit as a request for hearing and shall proceed to hear and adjudicate such request for hearing as provided by law; provided that the court may require the payment of a deposit as security for court costs and any accrued court costs, as provided by law, in relation to such request for hearing. When the division receives a request for hearing, the hearing shall be held in the manner provided by section 454.475.
13. The court may enter a judgment terminating child support pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (3) of subsection 12 of this section without necessity of a court appearance by either party. The clerk of the court shall mail a copy of a judgment terminating child support entered pursuant to subsection 12 of this section on both the obligor and obligee parents. The supreme court may promulgate uniform forms for sworn statements and affidavits to terminate orders of child support obligations for use pursuant to subsection 12 of this section and subsection 4 of section 452.370.
(L. 1973 H.B. 315 9, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1989 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 2, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al. merged with S.B. 291, A.L. 2005 S.B. 420 & 344, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25, A.L. 2010 H.B. 1692, et al., A.L. 2011 H.B. 111)
(2000) Section requires child to receive credit for at least twelve hours to maintain eligibility to receive child support. Lombardo v. Lombardo, 35 S.W.3d 386 (Mo.App.W.D.).
(2004) Child's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was manifest circumstance preventing successful completion of twelve credit hour requirement and thus continuing child support obligation. Pickens v. Brown, 147 S.W.3d 89 (Mo.App.W.D.).
(2004) Death of custodial parent of college student in compliance with section does not terminate existing child support obligation. Kreutzer v. Kreutzer, 147 S.W.3d 173 (Mo.App.S.D.).
452.370. 1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6 of section 452.325, 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.
In a proceeding for modification of any child support or maintenance judgment, the court, in determining whether or not a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, shall consider all financial resources of both parties, including the extent to which the reasonable expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a spouse or other person with whom he or she cohabits, and the earning capacity of a party who is not employed.
If the application of the child support guidelines and criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules to the financial circumstances of the parties would result in a change of child support from the existing amount by twenty percent or more, a prima facie showing has been made of a change of circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the present terms unreasonable, if the existing amount was based upon the presumed amount pursuant to the child support guidelines.
2. When the party seeking modification has met the burden of proof set forth in subsection 1 of this section, the child support shall be determined in conformity with criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules.
3. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, the obligation to pay future statutory maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.
4. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, provisions for the support of a child are terminated by emancipation of the child. The parent entitled to receive child support shall have the duty to notify the parent obligated to pay support of the child's emancipation and failing to do so, the parent entitled to receive child support shall be liable to the parent obligated to pay support for child support paid following emancipation of a minor child, plus interest.
5. If a parent has made an assignment of support rights to the division of family services on behalf of the state as a condition of eligibility for benefits pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and either party initiates a motion to modify the support obligation by reducing it, the state of Missouri shall be named as a party to the proceeding. The state shall be served with a copy of the motion by sending it by certified mail to the director of the division of child support enforcement.
6. The court shall have continuing personal jurisdiction over both the obligee and the obligor of a court order for child support or maintenance for the purpose of modifying such order. Both obligee and obligor shall notify, in writing, the clerk of the court in which the support or maintenance order was entered of any change of mailing address. If personal service of the motion cannot be had in this state, the motion to modify and notice of hearing shall be served outside the state as provided by supreme court rule 54.14. The order may be modified only as to support or maintenance installments which accrued subsequent to the date of personal service. For the purpose of 42 U.S.C. 666(a)(9)(C), the circuit clerk shall be considered the "appropriate agent" to receive notice of the motion to modify for the obligee or the obligor, but only in those instances in which personal service could not be had in this state.
7. If a responsive pleading raising the issues of custody or visitation is filed in response to a motion to modify child support filed at the request of the division of child support enforcement by a prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney or an attorney under contract with the division, such responsive pleading shall be severed upon request.
8. Notwithstanding any provision of this section which requires a showing of substantial and continuing change in circumstances, in a IV-D case filed pursuant to this section by the division of child support enforcement as provided in section 454.400, RSMo, the court shall modify a support order in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01 and any regulations thereunder if the amount in the current order differs from the amount which would be ordered in accordance with such guidelines or regulations.
(L. 1973 H.B. 315 � 15, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)
CROSS REFERENCES: Court may abate past or future support obligation if custodial parent, without good cause, fails to honor visitation order, RSMo 452.340 Emancipation of child, factors determining, RSMo 452.340
(1976) Evidence that former husband had suffered, at most, eight percent reduction in pay since time of divorce, that he had been on strike for six weeks, and that he had suffered loss of income as result of medical and dental care held insufficient to show changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make terms of alimony decree unreasonable. Ward v. Ward (A.), 534 S.W.2d 593.
(1976) Receipt of inheritance by wife held not to constitute such a change in circumstances as would justify modification of alimony decree ($65,900.00) increase in net worth. Seelig v. Seelig (A.), 540 S.W.2d 142.
(1977) Held that increase of father's income from twenty thousand dollars a year to fifty-one thousand dollars a year justified increasing child support from one hundred dollars a month to four hundred fifty dollars a month. Barnhill v. Barnhill (A.), 547 S.W.2d 858.
(1977) Court seems to say that income of "new" wife is to be considered as part of father and former husband's "means" in determining amount of award for attorney's fees and impliedly in computing ability to pay child support. In re Marriage of Engelhardt (A.), 552 S.W.2d 356.
(1978) Reduction of monthly child support by $140, and not $200, was authorized, where only changed circumstances following marriage dissolution was ex-husband's $140 reduced monthly income. Nagel v. Nagel (A.), 561 S.W.2d 693.
(1978) Held, finding that wife, unemployed at time of divorce, but who now earned salary of $654 a month, was substantial enough circumstances to make terms of original decree awarding alimony unreasonable. Stahlhut v. Stahlhut (A.), 562 S.W.2d 764.
(1978) Held, that although facts that needs of growing children increase, and increase in income of supporting spouse would support a modification of decree, it must be shown that their effect make the decree unreasonable. Plattner v. Plattner (A.), 567 S.W.2d 139.
(1981) Common law rule that parent's obligation for child support terminates on death of parent was not modified by enactment of statute governing termination of support by emancipation of child. Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.
(1981) Purpose of statute governing termination of child support is to make it absolute that, absent express provisions to contrary in divorce decree or separation agreement, obligation ends upon emancipation and does not automatically continue to age 21. Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.
(1985) The phrase "future statutory maintenance" is held to limit termination by reason of remarriage to periodic maintenance of indefinite duration subject to modification upon change of circumstances, as well as those cases in which the parties have otherwise agreed. An award of monthly payments to be used only to pay off a marital debt cannot be considered "statutory maintenance". Lietz v. Moore (A.), 703 S.W.2d 54.
(1986) An award of maintenance in gross payable in installments rendered under this section is distinct from any award rendered under section 452.080, RSMo, and therefore may terminate with the death or remarriage of the spouse to whom the award is made. Nelson v. Nelson, 720 S.W.2d 947 (Mo.App.W.D.).
(1987) Custodial parent who petitioned for modification of child support less than two years after original dissolution decree was not entitled increase in child support on the basis that, in general, children are more expensive when they are older but must present specific evidence of the increased needs of the children for which increased child support is sought. Farris v. Farris, 733 S.W.2d 819 (Mo.App.W.D.).
(1987) Dissolution decree may expressly provide that ex-husband's obligation to provide maintenance in the form of life insurance is not terminated upon his death pursuant to subsection 2 of this section. McAvinew v. McAvinew, 733 S.W.2d 816 (Mo.App.W.D.).