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1190 Meramec Station Rd, Suite 203  First Bank Building
Ballwin, MO 63021
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West County Family Law
1190 Meramec Station Rd.
First Bank Bldg., Suite 203
Ballwin, MO 63021
636-861-1127 fax
Contact West County Family Law online or call us at 636-861-1111 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our attorneys
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West County Family Law

West County Family Law
Ballwin, Mo. Office

Experienced Service and Legal Counsel

Our goal at West County Family Law is to provide the highest quality of experience, service and legal counsel. With more than 65 years of
experience, attorneys
Case & Rajnoha are capable of handling many types of legal matters. Founded in 1975, West County Family Law's
trademark has been prompt, personal attention. Our success has been our dedication to our clients and protecting  their best interests and
rights. Our clients deserve to be well-represented, with quality legal services provided by a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals. We
pride ourselves in our personal service by making sure we are available for our client throughout the legal process.

We're Here to Help You

We seek to help you through the legal problem confronting you. The first step is an easy one: call us for a free  telephone consultation at
(636) 861-1111 to speak with our Ballwin family and criminal law attorneys. You can also contact us online. We accept Visa and MasterCard.

West County Family Law is located in Ballwin, Missouri, and serves the cities of St. Louis, Chesterfield,  Fenton, Valley Park, Clayton, Creve
Coeur, Kirkwood,    Des Peres, Webster Groves, Manchester, Eureka, Hillsboro, Maryland Heights, Town and Country, Ellisville, Frontenac,
Wildwood, Ladue and Crestwood. We also serve other communities in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, West County
and South County.
West County Family Law Child Support Attorneys
Joel Case & Sally Rajnoha
West County Family Law

Child Support

Child Support is one of the most important determinations that a court will make in a  divorce or dissolution proceeding. In addition, the Court
may also modify an existing court-ordered child support order if there has been a substantial change in either parent's financial situation.
Contrary to popular belief, both parents have an obligation to provide support to children of divorce or separation, not just the non-residential
parent. The amount of the obligation each parent has is based upon statutory factors that take into consideration the respective income of
each parent as well as the time each parent spends with the children.

Case & Rajnoha represent clients requiring assistance and advice in family law matters relating to child support, modification of child support
and child support enforcement throughout the St. Louis area.

If the parties are unable to agree upon an appropriate amount of child support, a Judge will make this determination after considering income
and perhaps expensive evidence. In almost every case, one parent will be ordered to provide monthly child support payments to the other
parent. The court will almost always calculate the amount of child support using the Missouri Child Support Guidelines.  

The Guidelines are based on the gross incomes of the parents and the number of nights that the children spend with each parent. A Judge
is permitted to deviate from the resulting child support figures but only if extraordinary circumstances warrant such a deviation.  

Modification of Child Support
Both child custody and child support are issues that can be raised initially or be modified at any time prior to a child’s reaching age 18, is
emancipated or graduates, depending on the circumstance. Either parent can petition the court to change its prior custody or support order
based on proving that there has been a substantial change in the overall circumstances affecting the welfare of the children.

Termination of Child Support
All child support obligations continue until the child reaches the age of 18, unless the child is legally emancipated sooner. If the child is
attending primary or secondary school when he or she reaches age 18, the court will order support payments to continue until graduation,
unless the child fails to attend school on a regular basis or reaches age 21, whichever occurs first.  

A parent may agree to pay child support beyond these time periods but the court does not have the authority to require a parent to pay for a
child's college education. Also a Court does not have the authority to require a parent to maintain life insurance for the benefit of a child.


The short answer is age 18*, unless attending vocational or higher education, in which case it can extend to age 21.  If the support is to
extend because the child is pursuing his or her education, some very important requirements must be met or the support could terminate.  A
portion of the Missouri statute (Section 452.340) is set forth below.  Follow it precisely to take advantage of the extension of child support past
age 18 for educational purposes.*(Another reason for extending support past 18 is if the child is unable to support himself /herself due to a
physical or mental disability.  Also, if, when a child reaches age eighteen (18), 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 (21), 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 (12) 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
(21), whichever first occurs.

Important requirements

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 (12) credit hours, if the child receives failing grades in half or more of his or her course load 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 (15) hours per week during the semester
may take as few as nine (9) credit hours per semester and remain eligible for child support so long as all other requirements of this subsection
are complied with.

Section 452.340 Revised Statutes of Missouri, emphasis added