On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
Many times we talk about child support obligations in the context of divorce. However, it is important to remember that parents who were never married when they had a child can still have child support obligations. These obligations should be taken very seriously, as not paying child support could lead to wage garnishment and even possible jail time.
When it comes to child support in Missouri, there are a number of things to keep in mind.
The first is that it does not matter if a parent who pays child support moves out of Missouri. This will not take away the financial obligations. Rather, the custodial parent can simply request the child support order be enforced in the other state.
Additionally, even if both parents have joint custody, this does not mean that child support obligations will be reduced. Rather, it simply means that both parents have a say when it comes to making decisions regarding the well-being of the child. However, in most cases there will still be just one parent who is raising the child in terms of where that child lives most of the time.
Lastly, while it can certainly be frustrating if the custodial parent is not following court orders in terms of a visitation schedule, keep in mind that visitation and child support are two different things. This means that even if a father is being denied visitation, this is an issue that needs to be taken up with the courts and does not equate to no longer having to pay child support.
Of course, these are just some tips, and if there are visitation issues — or if there have been income changes — it’s best to talk with an attorney about any family law related issues.
Source: Reuters, “5 Things to Know to Avoid Being Called a ‘Deadbeat Dad’,” Andrew Lu, June 12, 2012