The Missouri Supreme Court issued an order that effective January 1, 2012 the overnight credit on Line 11 of Missouri’s Form 14 child support calculation can now be increased to 50%. What is this and what does it mean to you? The Line 11 overnight credit is a dollar credit given to the parent paying child support as an adjustment for the overnights that parent has with their child during the year. Presumably, the more overnights you have with your child the less in child support you should pay.
Prior to January 1, 2012 even in joint custody cases the largest percent the court give on Line 11 was 34%. This meant that prior to January 1, 2012 in a joint custody case where two parents made the same amount of money and had 50/50 custody of their child one parent could still be ordered to pay child support to the other. This new change in the law levels the playing field in situations where both parents make approximately the same income and have 50/50 shared parenting time with their child. However, there is still discretion with the court in determining what the overnight credit should be. This means that judges don’t have to give the 50% credit and still have leeway to take into consideration the specific circumstances that can be different in every case. Bottom line: We now have the change in the law so many people have wanted. It will be interesting to see how this is interpreted by the courts over the coming months and what impact it will have on parents receiving child support in Missouri. If you have joint custody of your child and your child support order was entered prior to January 1, 2012 it’s a good time to contact us to see if you are eligible for a child support modification.
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