Child support cases may see shakeup in legal process

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Paternity/Child Support on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

With the end of the school year fast approaching, Missouri parents are making plans to keep their little ones entertained during the summer months. For those who are divorced, paying for activities such as summer camps and vacation can be a challenge for the custodial parent. One way to help meet this need is for the non-custodial parent to make timely and accurate child support payments.

Currently, if a parent falls behind on payments, he or she can face consequences in criminal court. Fines, a loss of driving privileges and jail time are some of the ways a court can punish a parent for non-payment. Many parents are asking the state of Missouri to change the way delinquent child support cases are handled. This is because some of these consequences, especially losing a driver’s license, only makes them fall further behind, causing a child to go without even longer.

In one case, a father that fell behind on payments was doing his best to catch up. He got a good job as a truck driver and was looking forward to clearing his debts. Unfortunately, his driver’s license was taken by the court because his payments were behind; consequently, he lost his job because he could no longer drive. Some lawmakers and the state’s prosecuting attorney agree that this particular ramification may be counterproductive. They are now discussing the option that perhaps child support cases should not be handled by criminal courts on a regular basis.

If a parent is interested in establishing, modifying or enforcing a child support order, he or she may be confused by recent changes. It can be a good idea for a parent in this situation to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney is aware of the latest laws and can help a client through each step of the legal process, which helps to ensure that a child does not have to go without the financial resources to which he or she is entitled. Parents can then get back on track and focus on keeping up with future payments and maintaining a loving relationship with their child.

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