WATCH: How does the court determine child support and maintenance?

By Marta J. Papa
February 15, 2016


Read the transcript of this video below.

In the State of Missouri, child support is determined by using a chart and following a formula, which takes both Mom and Dad’s gross monthly income into consideration.  In a nutshell, we compare the percentage each spouse contributes to their overall combined income and they share in the children’s expenses according to their income.

As for maintenance, Missouri has no chart or formula to help determine maintenance.  The Missouri Revised Statutes list numerous factors a Judge can take into consideration in deciding maintenance.  Since some Judges focus on certain factors and other Judges focus on other factors, it is impossible to accurately predict a maintenance award.

As for Illinois, child support is based on a percentage of the payer’s monthly net income.  Each child increases the percentage of income the payer must contribute.  A new law, which went into effect on January 1, 2016, will determine maintenance so it is consistent from Judge to Judge.

This statute takes into consideration the number of years the parties were married to determine the amount as well as the length of time maintenance will continue.  For more information, you can look up the following statute online:  750 ILCS (Illinois Compiled Statutes), Section 504.

Marta J. Papa has been helping clients navigate the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce for over 25 years. Known widely as the Divorce Whisperer®, she has successfully completed over 4,000 mediated divorces and is considered an authority on mediation nationwide. Recently, through a Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly poll, she was voted by her peers as one of the “Best Divorce Attorneys in Missouri.” She was also elected by both her peers and Martindale-Hubbell to the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers” in recognition of her accomplishments as a St. Louis divorce attorney. 

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February 15, 2016

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