Enforcing child support, the right way

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child & Spousal Support on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Many Missouri residents might assume that the hardest part of divorce is over upon completion of paperwork. While this is true in some cases, spouses with children could have bigger challenges ahead. One of those challenges involves child support. Whether it is inconsistent or nonexistent, the law enforces child custody orders to best protect the children involved.

Even long-time residents could benefit from a refresher on state laws. The Missouri Department of Social Services lists information on enforcing child support, stating that medical support is also crucial. The Department may locate parents, as well as review and modify support orders. When it comes to the enforcing of financial support, the social services branch has the power to report noncustodial parents to credit bureaus; in addition, they could withhold the parent’s wages. Should the noncompliant parent live outside the state of Missouri, the Department may work with the state of residence to collect support.

All of the rules in the book may exist, and a parent nevertheless might choose to make the situation difficult. Parents facing these difficult times can look to Findlaw’s outline on child support and varying approaches to enforcement. According to Findlaw, court-ordered child support is a step backed by the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 — district attorneys may refer to this act to ensure the parent sends the appropriate amounts of support. In extreme cases, the court may hold the noncompliant parent in contempt of the court, where jail time could be a possibility. The primary focus, however, remains the children themselves. When parents can find a financial balance, children can find a balance in their newly adjusted lives.

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