Falling behind on child support could result in loss of property

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Paternity/Child Support on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

The state of Missouri has a handy system that matches residents to unclaimed property in their name. Unclaimed property is handled by the State Treasurer’s office. Unclaimed property is not usually something people can hold or touch; rather, it is usually a bank account that was forgotten, a safety deposit box or other financial asset. Now, the state plans to use this system to help ease the problem of unpaid child support.

It is estimated Missouri parents are collectively over 2 billion dollars behind in child support payments. Overdue child support puts unnecessary stress on the parent with primary custody. When a court issues an order for a person to pay child support and he or she fails to do so, a child may have to go without, and the parent with primary custody may have to cover more than his or her fair share of a child’s expenses.

Recently, state officials revealed a plan to use the system that matches residents with unclaimed property to cross reference with the system that tells when a parent is behind on child support. If a person has unclaimed property but is also behind on his or her child support payments, the state may hold or confiscate the unclaimed assets to pay towards a person’s child support debt. This will provide an incentive for people to keep current on child support payments; moreover, it may bring some relief to parents that should be receiving child support payments but are not.

If a Missouri parent wants to establish, modify or enforce a child support order, legal action is necessary. It may be advisable for a parent to consult an attorney who is well-versed in family law. An attorney can help a parent make sure that his or her child has access to all the financial resources that a court finds appropriate and that the parent with primary custody doesn’t get stuck paying for all of a child’s expenses alone.

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