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Missouri Child Support Definitions

Definition of Gross Income.

"Gross income" includes, but is not limited to, salaries, wages, commissions, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, partnership distributions, social security benefits, retirement benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment compensation benefits, disability insurance benefits, veterans’ disability benefits, military allowances for subsistence and quarters, and maintenance actually received.

Overtime compensation, bonuses, earnings from secondary employment, recurring capital gains, prizes, retained earnings and significant employment-related benefits may be included, in whole or in part, in "gross income" in appropriate circumstances.

If a parent is unemployed or determined to be underemployed, "gross income" may be based on imputed income.

Excluded from "gross income" is temporary assistance for needy families payments, Medicaid benefits, supplemental security income (SS1) benefits, food stamps, general assistance benefits, other public assistance benefits having eligibility based on income, and child support received for children not the subject of this proceeding.

If a parent receives rents or royalties or is self-employed, in a sole proprietorship or business with joint ownership, "gross income" is gross receipts minus the ordinary and necessary expenses incurred to produce such receipts. Depreciation, investment tax credits and other noncash reductions of gross receipts may be excluded from such ordinary and necessary expenses.

Adjustment to gross income for maintenance being paid.

An adjustment is appropriate in a proceeding to establish a child support order or to modify the support payable under an existing order. However, the adjustment available to the moving parent in an action to increase or decrease the support payable under an existing order shall be the lesser of.

(1) the adjustment to which that parent was entitled when the existing order was entered, or

(2) the adjustment to which that parent is entitled as a result of an order entered after the existing order.

Adjustment to Gross income for other children in primary physical custody.

The amount of the adjustment is the amount in the schedule of basic child support obligations that represents that parent’s support obligation based only on the parents gross income and without any adjustment for other children for whom the parent is responsible.

The adjustment for a child for whom there is an existing court or administrative order shall be reduced by the amount that the parent is actually receiving in current support payments.

An adjustment is appropriate in a proceeding to establish a child support order or to modify the support payable under an existing order. The adjustment is available for the parents natural and adopted children but not the parent’s stepchildren.

Work-related child care costs of parent entitled to receive support.

The reasonable work-related child care costs of the parent entitled to receive support may be included only if the gross income earned by the parent during the time period in which the parent incurs the child care costs is included in the parent’s monthly gross income. If the parent’s child care costs exceed the income earned during the lime period in which the parent incurs the child care costs, neither the income earned nor the child care costs incurred shall be included.

If the amount of the actual work-related child care costs for each child is not available or cannot be verified, the amount of the reasonable work-related child care costs be included in the gross income of the parent receiving the maintenance and as an adjustment of the parent paying the maintenance.

Health insurance costs.

If the amount of the actual health insurance premium for the children who are the subject of this proceeding is not available or cannot be verified, the amount of the premium attributable to the children who are the subject of this proceeding shall be calculated by dividing the total monthly premium for the policy of health insurance by the total number of persons for whom the premium is paid or to be paid and then multiplying the resulting figure by the number of children insured under the policy who are the subject of this proceeding.

Uninsured extraordinary medical costs.

If the amount of the actual extraordinary medical costs for each child is not available or cannot be verified, the amount of the extraordinary medical costs attributable to each child who is the subject of this proceeding shall be calculated by dividing the total monthly extraordinary medical costs by the total number of children for whom the extraordinary medical costs are paid or to be paid.

"Extraordinary medical costs" are reasonable and necessary medical and dental expenses, incurred for the children who are the subject of this proceeding, to the extent that the uninsured portion of such expenses, including any deductibles and co-payments, exceeds $ 100. 00 per year per child. "Extraordinary medical costs" are predictable and recurring, such as expenses for dental treatment, orthodontic treatment, asthma treatment and physical therapy. Medical and dental expenses incurred for single occurrence illness or injuries that are not covered or fully paid under any health insurance policy should be handled by separate order.

Other extraordinary child-rearing costs.

If the amount of the actual other extraordinary child-rearing costs for each child is not available or cannot be verified, the amount of the other extraordinary child-rearing costs attributable to each child who is the subject of this proceeding shall be calculated by dividing the total monthly other extraordinary child-rearing costs by the total number of children for whom the other extraordinary child-rearing costs are paid or to be paid.

Post-secondary educational expenses and private or parochial elementary, middle and high school expenses are not included in the schedule of basic child support obligations; therefore, these expenses may be included as an "other extraordinary child-rearing cost if the parents agree or the court orders that the parents, contribute to payment of these expenses.

"Other extraordinary child-rearing costs" may include, but are not limited to, the cost of tutoring sessions, special or private elementary and secondary schooling to meet the particular educational needs of a child, camps, lessons, travel or other activities intended to enhance the athletic, social or cultural development of a child.

An order may include the cost of tuition, room and board, books, fees and other reasonable and necessary expenses. In determining the amount of these expenses, scholarships, grants, stipends and other cost-reducing programs available to the child should be considered.