Saint Louis, MO asked in Divorce and Family Law for Missouri

Q: What does it mean for a child to primarily reside in each parents custody?

Form 14 2c:1 . I was given credit for my youngest child staying with me primarily. His mom and I are together and we have been so for 7 years. Each year I claim him on my taxes. However, during a dispute with my oldest child’s mother; it was mention that I shouldn’t have gotten that credit. How so? I was confused by this statement. My youngest child is with me 100% of the time. Therefore, he does primarily reside in my custody. Was this a bluff move by her attorney or was this actually accurate. Thanks

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1 Lawyer Answer

Jennifer L. Rench

Answered
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: This is not as easy of a question to answer as it sounds. The Form 14 is one page, however there a is a 40-page document that accompanies this form titled "DIRECTIONS, COMMENTS FOR USE AND EXAMPLES FOR COMPLETION OF FORM NO. 14". There are also relevant cases in Missouri that specifically talks about the application of a credit on Line 2c.

To give you some direction, the excerpt that guides us regarding the Line 2c credit are as follows:

Line 2c: Adjustment to gross income for other children primarily residing with a parent

DIRECTION: Enter the monthly amount of the support obligation of the parent for any children primarily residing in his or her custody and not the subject of this proceeding. 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 that parent’s gross income and without any adjustment for other children for whom that parent is responsible.

CAVEAT: The adjustment for a child for whom there is an existing court or administrative order shall be reduced by the amount that is actually being paid 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 parent’s natural and adopted children but not the parent’s stepchildren.

(1) In any action to decrease child support, a parent obligated to pay support shall not be entitled to a line 2(c) credit for children born to or adopted by the parent obligated to pay support after the entry of the current order. However, the parent obligated to pay support will be allowed a line 2(c) credit for children that have remained primarily residing with the parent obligated to pay support from prior to the existing order.

(2) In any action to increase child support, a parent obligated to pay support shall be entitled to a line 2(c) credit for children born to or adopted by the parent obligated to pay support after the entry of the current order. However, the use of the credit alone cannot act to reduce the current support amount in the action in question.

A. COMMENT: Children are primarily residing in a parent's custody though living away from the parent to attend school.

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