The Missouri Supreme Court adopted Rule 88.0, Form 14, more commonly known as the child support chart. Many divorce practitioners use the child support chart as a crutch to derive a simple child support calculation. The rules for use and case precedent provide a great deal of legal tools that a diligent attorney must use to help the Court set the appropriate amount of child support for a litigant to pay or receive. We look at each case in our office as an individual’s only case. We do not take a “cookie cutter” approach to determine your child support number. We will work with you to find the facts and the best way to apply the facts to the Form 14 to aide you in acquiring the child support order that best fits you.
As in most things, family law practitioners fall into patterns. A divorce attorney must prohibit himself or herself from taking the easy way out by failing to find every way to limit the client’s child support exposure, if the client is the payor, or to increase the amount received, if the client is the payee. We make sure to perform diligent discovery to uncover all forms of income. We have devised many ways to prove to the Courts that payors under report their income. Pursuant to case law and Rule 88.01, the Court has the ability to impute income to a person who claims a lack of income or a reduction in income. It is incumbent upon a family lawyer to provide the Court with all the relevant information concerning income available so that the Court may make an informed decision.