First you need to find out if the child support has really stopped. In Missouri, your decision is made as follows:
1. Is your child over 21 years of age (and not adjudicated disabled) If yes, go to the next section.
2. Has your child graduated from high school, and, if yes, is s/he going to a post-secondary educational instituion (can be college, university or a trade school). If a high school grad and nothing beyond, go to the next step.
3. Is your child married or in the military? If yes, go to the next step
4. Has your child dropped out of school and is over 18 years old? If yes, go to the next step.
5. Has your child died? If yes, go to the next step.
6. Has a court found that your child is disabled enough that s/he can't be self supporting? If so, child support doesn't stop.
Step 2 - If your child support is supposed to stop, what then
Child support doesn't ordinarily stop automatically in Missouri. The law says that the parent receiving the support is supposed to notify the other parent that child support is supposed to stop. That doesn't always happen either because there are other, usually younger, children so the parent receiving support doesn't think about it, or because the parent receiving support doesn't want the support to stop.
If there are other children in the household (who are also your biological children), the child support is supposed to be recalculated at the same time the child support for the one child is ended.
If the parent receiving support just hasn't filled out the paperwork - and filed it with the court - to end child support, the parent paying the support can also fill out the paperwork.
What if my child is a college student?
There are special requirements for college students to remain eligible for child support. Because of the detail that's required, if you have a college student who is not a full time (meaning taking and passing 12 credit hours each semester - or, if your child is employed, taking and passing at least 9 credit hours and working an average of 15 hours a week), you would be well advised to consult with an attorney to help you decide whether the child support should be ended for that child.
Children are supposed to provide both parents with both enrollment information and grades for each semester in order to remain eligibility - in addition to the requirements listed above. The enrollment information and grades are supposed to be provided at the beginning of each semester. A failure to provide the required information MAY result in the child support being subject to ending.
What if I have overpaid child support because the other parent didn't tell be child support should end?
The law says that a parent who is receiving child support who doesn't let the other parent know that the child support should end has to repay to the paying parent any child support amount that the parent receiving child support shouldn't have received. This is generally subject to proving it to a judge.
The Jackson County, Missouri, form to ask for a termination of child support can be found on the Jackson County Circuit Court's web page. If you are in another county, your county's form should be similar.
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