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Penalties for Unpaid Child Support in Missouri

When the court orders child support, the parent responsible must make all payments in full and on time. However, if a spouse cannot make their scheduled payments on time, they could face legal and even criminal consequences. Keep reading to learn more.

Child Support in MO

In Missouri, child support covers basic care like food, shelter, education, clothing, and medical support. Any daily needs should be covered by child support. In cases where child support is a part of the divorce settlement, the parent making payments is called the paying parent.

Generally, the judge in a divorce case will determine the amount of support based on the parent’s unique circumstances. In some cases, a parent may require more support if they are not currently employed or if the child requires extensive medical treatment for a chronic illness. Either way, it is up to the court to determine the amount of support awarded.

Enforcement

The Missouri Department of Social Services is the designated state agency to enforcing child support and child custody as well as numerous other matters. The Family Support Division is specifically responsible for enforcing child support laws.

The FSD enforces the law by enforcing the following actions when necessary:

  • Establishing paternity
  • Setting up medical support
  • Reviewing and adjusting existing orders
  • Collecting payments

When child support is overdue, the FSD may exact efforts to locate the parent if they have fled the state which requires collaboration with law enforcement. The FSD may also pursue wage garnishment, bank account freezing, liens, and license suspension as punishment for unpaid support.

Navigating Child Support

Child support and custody can be complicated, but it is important to recognize that there are legal options so you can provide and protect your family. Smith Law Offices, LLC offers a variety of legal services to support and guide our clients to the most optimal resolution.

Contact our offices to schedule your consultation.

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