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What happens when a parent fails to pay child support?

42714165_S.jpgGoing through a divorce can present a number of challenges in regard to a person's daily schedule, financial planning and overall well being. When children are part of the picture, this planning can take even more time and commitment. Missouri, like other states, enforces child support and custody laws in a way that serves in the best interest of children, but some families nevertheless hit obstacles along the way.

Countless parents in the state struggle to make ends meet as a result of single parenthood. One topic of recent debate, as The Kansas City Star shares, involves potential changes with food stamp laws; Missouri lawmakers are considering modifying the state's welfare plans. Should the state execute these plans, people on welfare would face tighter restrictions. The Star comments that members of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could lose benefits if they miss child support payments. While penalties for failing to pay child support are important, this new law could potentially hurt the most important members of the SNAP program: the children. In the last few years alone, over 20,000 children have lost access to welfare programs in the state. 

The issue of child support goes beyond the scope of Missouri -- parents across the nation grapple with supporting children on minimal funding. The Missouri Department of Social Services provides a brochure on child support laws and resources in the state, noting that parents have multiple options when it comes to paying regular support. Should a problem arise, the state of Missouri may withhold a parent's income, report parents who owe money to credit bureaus and even intercept tax refunds. There are a number of other options from which concerned parents can choose, all listed under the Department's resources.    


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