Getting the child support you need and deserve

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Support on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here in St. Louis, child support and spousal support agreements are laid out in great detail in divorce settlements.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, people often don’t receive the child support and alimony they’re entitled to as part of those agreements.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than half the parents owed child support receive full payments for the amounts owed. About a third of parents get part of what they’re owed and about a quarter get none of the child support they’re supposed to receive.

Forbes columnist Jeff Landers says the Census Bureau doesn’t track alimony payments, but it’s clear that many people have trouble collecting that in full as well.

In his most recent column, Landers discusses some of the things parents can do when an ex-spouse refuses to pay child support or alimony.

Every state in the nation must, by law, have an office that enforces child support payments.

In Missouri, the Department of Social Services has its main child support enforcement office in Jefferson City. It has a couple of regional offices and field offices across the state.

Its responsibilities include the following: “locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing child and medical support orders, monitoring and enforcing compliance with child and medical support orders, reviewing and initiating modification of support orders and distributing support collections.”

The state can garnish wages, intercept funds (tax refunds, unemployment compensation, workers’ comp), place a lien on cars or property, seize property, suspend licenses (driver’s license, professional licenses, recreational licenses), alert credit bureaus and prosecute non-payors for not paying child support.

Discuss your legal options with a divorce attorney before entering any child support or alimony agreements.

Source: Forbes: “How Can a Divorcing Woman Get the Child Support, Alimony She is Owed?”: Jeff Landers, Dec. 14, 2011

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