Line 12 Instructions

Back to Form 14

Presumed child support amount

The amount of presumed child support payable is automatically calculated by subtracting from the child support obligation of the parent obligated to pay support on line 9 that parent's:

  1. credit for additional child-rearing costs from line 10, and

  2. adjustment for a portion of the amounts expended during periods of overnight visitation or custody from line 11.

CAVEAT: If the amount of the credit and adjustment for the parent obligated to pay support on lines 10 and 11, individually or in combination, is greater than or equal to the amount of support on line 9, the amount entered on line 12 is $0.00, even if the actual calculation results in a negative number.

 Where supported by the evidence, the presumed child support amount is not a maximum. However, if the amount of support ordered is greater than the presumed child support amount, the court or administrative agency must find the presumed child support amount to be unjust or inappropriate.

Comments:

A. A deviation from the presumed child support amount may be appropriate when an award of custody, including, but not limited to, an award of joint physical custody, results in a child support award that does not provide the child(ren) an appropriate standard of living. This arrangement should be distinguished from split custody, as described in Comment D. To determine an appropriate deviation, the court or administrative agency shall consider which parent is likely to pay the expenses of the child or children that are unaffected by the amount of time spent with each parent; e.g., clothing, activity fees, school and books. The court or administrative agency shall ensure that such expenses, as well as the expenses for which a specific adjustment is authorized on Form No. 14 (such as expenses for work-related child care, post-secondary educational expenses and health insurance coverage), are shared in proportion to the parents’ incomes and not in proportion to the time spent with each parent. The court or administrative agency may consider that substantial time with both parents will not necessarily reduce certain child rearing costs of the parent entitled to receive support..

The mere expenditure of substantial time with both parents does not by itself eliminate the need for support to be paid by one parent to the other; rather, the expenditure of substantial time with both parents is merely a factor to be considered in determining whether the presumed child support amount is unjust or inappropriate.

B. As the number of children entitled to support increases, the amount payable for their support increases, but the increase per child is not at the same rate. Therefore, when awarding support for more than one child, a court or administrative agency shall not enter an order that apportions the support per capita; instead, the order shall be in a gross amount or ordered incrementally. When ordering support incrementally, the court or administrative agency shall complete a separate Form No. 14 for each combination of children that is the subject of the proceeding; i.e., the initial Form No. 14 shall be prepared for all children who are the subject of the proceeding; the second Form No. 14 shall be prepared for one child less than the initial Form No. 14; the third Form No. 14 shall be prepared for one child less than the second Form No. 14; etc.

C. Example: When ordering support incrementally, the court or administrative agency may use the following language: "For three children, Parent A shall pay to Parent  B the total sum of $ __________ per month, beginning on ___________, 20___ and on the ________________ day of each month thereafter. At such time as Parent B is entitled to support for only two children on the date child support is payable, Parent A shall pay to Parent B the sum of $ _________ per month. At such time as Parent B is entitled to support for only one child on the date child support is payable, Parent A shall pay to Parent B the sum of $ __________ per month." 

D. Split custody refers to the situation in which one or more, but not all, of the children primarily resides with each of the parents. In those instances, a separate Form No. 14 is completed for the number of children primarily residing in the custody of each parent, using the adjusted monthly gross income (line 3) for both parents but disregarding the children primarily residing in the other parent's custody.

Only the additional child-rearing costs for the children for whom the support amount is being calculated should be included on each parent’s Form No. 14. If one parent pays the total additional child-rearing cost of an item for all children, such as health insurance, the total cost should be prorated among the children on each parent’s Form No. 14.

After completion of each parent’s Form No. 14, subtract the smaller amount from the greater, and the parent with the larger of the two obligations shall pay the difference between the two obligations.

E. Example: Child A primarily resides in the custody of Parent A, who has adjusted gross income (line 3) of $2,000.00 per month. Child B primarily resides in the custody of Parent B, who has adjusted gross income (line 3) of $5,000.00 per month. Parent A is ordered to maintain a policy of health insurance for both children, which costs $200.00 per month. Parent B is ordered to pay the private high school expenses of Child B, which are $250.00 per month, and the post-secondary educational expenses of Child A, which are $400.00 per month.

The presumed child support amount payable by Parent A to Parent B for Child B is $298.00 per month. The presumed child support amount payable by Parent B to Parent A for Child A is $700.00 per month. The net difference is $402.00 per month, which is the amount in this example Parent B is obligated to pay Parent A.

The court or administrative agency may use the following language: "Parent B shall pay to Parent A the sum of $700.00 per month for Child A, beginning on ____________, 20___, and on the _______ day of each month thereafter. Parent A shall pay to Parent B the sum of $298.00 per month for Child B, beginning on ____________, 20__, and on the _______ day of each month thereafter. During any period in which each parent is entitled to support from the other parent for the minor child in his or her primary physical custody, the parent with the higher support obligation shall pay to the other parent on the ____day of each month the net difference in each parent's support amount."

F. Comment: In situations where a court has awarded custody of children to a third party or the child resides with a non-parent caretaker relative, the court or administrative agency shall prepare two Form No. 14’s, including, in Line 1, only the natural/legal parents’ incomes to compute the obligation of each parent. The first Form No. 14 shall designate parent one as the paying parent and parent two as the receiving parent. The second Form No. 14 shall designate parent one as the receiving parent and parent two as the paying parent.

Both Form No. 14’s shall be calculated using the natural/legal parents’ incomes, including any additions, credits and deviations that apply, in accordance with Directions, Comments for Use and Examples for the completion of Form No. 14. Each natural/legal parent shall have a duty of support to the third party or non-parent caretaker relative according to the Form No. 14 that was calculated for that parent as the parent paying support.

G. Comment: IThe Form No. 14 determined by the court or administrative agency to reflect the presumed correct calculation of child support, whether rebutted or not rebutted, shall be attached to and incorporated in the court’s written judgment or administrative agency’s written order.

A parent’s Form No. 14 is "rejected" when the court or administrative agency finds that the calculation itself is incorrect; i.e., an item is incorrectly included in the calculation, the amount of an item included in the calculation is incorrect, or the mathematical calculation is incorrect.

If both parents’ Forms No. 14 are "rejected," the court or administrative agency must calculate its own Form No. 14 and attach its Form No. 14 to and incorporate it in the court’s written judgment or administrative agency’s written order.

A parent’s Form No. 14 is "rebutted" when the court or administrative agency finds that the presumed child support amount under a correctly calculated Form No. 14 is unjust or inappropriate, and the court or administrative agency must state in the written judgment or administrative agency’s written order that the presumed child support amount is unjust or inappropriate after considering all relevant factors. In that event, the written judgment or administrative order must specifically address all of the statutory factors as set forth in section 452.340.1, RSMo, as well as any other relevant factors considered by the court or administrative agency.

H. Comment: In a proceeding to establish a child support order or to modify the support payable under an existing order, when determining whether to deviate from the presumed child support amount (line 12), the court or administrative agency should consider all relevant factors, including whether:

  1. a child receives income that is not based on the child's special needs;

  2. a parent has significant extraordinary medical expenses for himself or herself or for a relative by blood or marriage;

  3. the parents' combined adjusted monthly gross income (line 3) exceeds $30,000.00 per month, or the number of children who are the subject of the proceeding exceeds six; and

  4. the parent obligated to pay support incurs significant or unusual expenses in connection with transportation of himself or herself or any child who is the subject of the proceeding for exercise of any periods of overnight visitation or custody.

Assumptions used in support calculations: The relevant factors and assumptions used to calculate the child support guidelines include:

  1. There is no evidence that the expenditure patterns of parents in Missouri differ significantly from national estimates of child-rearing costs.

  2. The schedule of basic child support obligations is based on the income shares model, which seeks to apportion to the child the amount that the parents would have spent if the household were intact. (See "Sources" .)

  3. All parental income is treated as earned income subject to federal and state withholding and FICA taxes.

  4. The schedule of basic child support obligations is prepared by converting net income to gross income using withholding tables for a single person.

  5. Net income is gross income less adjustments for federal, state and social security taxes.

  6. Conversion of net income to gross income assumes one exemption and the standard deduction.

  7. The schedule of basic child support obligations assumes that the parent entitled to receive support claims the tax exemption for the children entitled to support.

  8. The schedule of basic child support obligations incorporates a "self-support reserve" to address the need of the parent obligated to pay support to maintain a minimum standard of living.

  9. The schedule of basic child support obligations excludes parental expenditures for childcare and the child's share of health insurance premiums and extraordinary medical expenses.

  10. Unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed $250.00 per family member per year are deemed extraordinary medical expenses.

  11. The schedule of basic child support obligations does not consider the costs of the parent obligated to pay support when that parent has physical custody of the children entitled to support.

  12. With respect to the adjustment for a portion of the amounts expended on the children by the parent obligated to pay support during that parent's periods of overnight visitation or custody, the basic child support amount can be divided into three categories of expenditures:

  • Variable expenditures are child-related expenditures that vary directly with the amount of time a child spends with each parent, such as food. It has been assumed that variable expenditures represent 38% of the basic child support amount.

  • Duplicated fixed expenditures are child-related expenditures that do not vary with the amount of time a child spends with each parent but are incurred by both parents, such as housing. It has been assumed that duplicated fixed expenditures represent 30% of the basic child support amount.

  • Non-duplicated fixed expenditures are child-related expenditures that do not vary with the amount of time a child spends with each parent and are usually incurred by the  parent in whose household a child resides the greater amount of the time, such as clothing. It has been assumed that non-duplicated fixed expenditures represent 32% of the basic child support amount.

  • As it is assumed that the payment of non-duplicated fixed expenditures (32%) does not vary even when an award of custody results in a child or children spending substantially equal time with both parents (up to 50% per year), the maximum Line 11 adjustment is limited to 34%. Duplicated fixed expenditures (30%) plus variable expenditures (38%) equals 68%, and the maximum adjustment divided equally equals 34%. In appropriate circumstances, the adjustment may be up to 50%, especially when non-duplicated fixed expenditures are paid primarily by the parent obligated to pay support.

  • The amount of any adjustment to which the parent obligated to pay support is entitled for a portion of the amounts expended on the children who are the subject of the proceeding during periods of overnight visitation or custody assumes that the parent obligated to pay support will incur:
    (1) No significant expenditures for the children if that parent exercises visitation or custody for less than 36 periods per year;
    (2) Variable expenditures for the children if that parent exercises visitation or custody for 36 or more periods per year;
    (3) Duplicated fixed expenditures for the children if that parent exercises visitation or custody for 110 or more overnight periods per year; and
    (4) No significant non-duplicated fixed expenditures for the children.