St. Louis Child Support Enforcement Lawyer~ 3 min read

When you are responsible for the well-being of your child, every penny counts. Expenses can be considerable, and you should not be expected to handle the burden alone. Unfortunately, some parents who are required to pay support do not fulfill their responsibilities.

These situations can be emotionally taxing, and direct, heated exchanges with the delinquent parent are usually counterproductive. Under these circumstances, a St. Louis child support enforcement lawyer can provide the necessary assistance. A well-versed family law ally can handle the legalities of your case so you can focus on your child’s day-to-day needs.

A parent who has physical custody is expected to spend their own money for the benefit of their child. These expenditures may include rent or mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, household maintenance, transportation expenses, etc.

According to state law, both parents are equally responsible for financially supporting their child. Since the custodial parent will be paying these bills directly, the noncustodial parent is typically required to make child support payments to contribute to their child’s upbringing.

When a parenting plan is submitted to the court, both parents can agree on an amount of child support that they consider appropriate. However, there are state-mandated guidelines. As a result, the agreed-upon support payments must meet or exceed the minimum that would be required by law.

In some cases, parents cannot agree on an appropriate amount. When there is no cooperation, the Court will apply state guidelines based on the financial profiles of both individuals and the needs of the child. Ultimately, a child support order will be issued by a family law judge.

The Family Support Division (FSD) of the Missouri Department of Social Services is a government agency that oversees child support enforcement when support payments become overdue.

FSD has the power to implement overdue child support collection measures, and the Court may also become involved. Actions that can be taken to enforce a St. Louis child support order include:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Garnishment of workers’ compensation benefits
  • Property liens
  • Interception of income tax refunds

A child is entitled to health insurance under support laws. If a parent who is responsible for paying child support fails to provide coverage, FSD can compel the individual’s employer to enroll the child in an insurance plan.

Additionally, punitive measures can be applied to enforce a parent’s child support obligations. The FSD can report the arrearage to credit rating bureaus and even suspend a parent’s driver’s license. Other licenses that are issued by the state could be suspended as well, such as occupational permits and recreational activity licenses.

Often times, FSD is slow or not able to locate assets.  When FSD is unable to collect support, a St. Louis child support enforcement lawyer can file garnishments or a levy on assets, additional wage with-holdings, or a motion for contempt in circuit court. A Motion for Contempt asks the Court to enforce its’ order, though other ways, such as a finding of civil contempt and even incarceration. 

A St. Louis child support enforcement lawyer can make all the difference in ensuring that your child’s needs are adequately met. A skilled legal advocate from our team can help you from the start and ensure that all the appropriate steps are taken. If you are ready to take action, we are here to help. Give us a call today to set up a consultation with a professional.

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