The Law Office of Kurt H King

March 19, 2013

50/50 Custody and Child Support in Missouri

Filed under: Custody,Divorce,Family Law,Paternity,Support — kurthking @ 8:44 pm
Tags: , ,

Many parents facing divorce aim to avoid paying child support by pressing for equal custody of the children of the marriage.   The common belief is that if they split time with the children basically down the middle, no child support payments to the other spouse will be required.

In an agreed-upon/uncontested case, the court may well approve such a custody arrangement.  But is the 50/50 custody split in the best interests of the children?  Many would say not–including Judge Chamberlain who spoke at the March 15, 2013, Family Law CLE in Clay County.  By and large, judges do not favor 50/50 custody because one home base for the child beats trying to make a dual home rotation function.

So, if your divorce or other custody battle is for trial, there is little chance of an award of 50/50 custody from the judge.

And if you insist on taking that route, the court will require extensive proof as to who pays what bills and provides what support so as to determine and order what bills and expenses paid by each parent.  The cost of coming up with sufficient proof is high and as the judge said, “95% of your clients can’t afford you anyway.”

Why spend the money on this expensive long-shot?

Lastly, in such a case the judge will also examine the parties’ incomes.  If one parent makes more money that the other, the court can still order the parent with the greater income to pay child support to the other even in a 50/50 custody situation.

One bit more–the judge may insist that all issues be tried even where the parties claim to have an agreement of 50/50 custody.  All the facets of the case intertwine to affect the court’s judgment and thus a small trial on just a few issues may snowball into a full blown trial covering child custody issues as well–pouring all your hard work spent to hammer out a 50/50 custody agreement down  the drain.  Not good.


Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068


Family Law–Dissolutions, Modifications, Child Support/Custody/Visitation, Paternity

General Litigation and Matters

1 Comment »

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