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What methods of child support enforcement are there?

In Missouri, custodial parents may be eligible for receiving child support from the child's other parent, even if the parents were never married. Child support can be obtained either through a court order or as a result of an agreement made between the parents. If support is not being paid, the person who is supposed to be receiving it can either work with the non-paying parent, obtain assistance from the Missouri Family Support Division or go through the court system.

One of the most successful methods of child support enforcement is wage garnishment. After the non-paying parent has been delinquent for the equivalent of a month's worth of support payments, a wage garnishment can be issued without first notifying the garnishee.

In addition to wage garnishment, there are other options that people can pursue to collect child support, including real estate and personal property liens, although these methods are a lot more time consuming and may require cash deposits. Additionally, someone can go through the civil court system and obtain a court order for enforcement, and the court may order jail time for a parent who is not keeping up with support payments.

Unfortunately, just because someone has obtained a child support order from the court, it does not mean that they will always receive the support they are entitled to. If someone is not getting payments they are owed, either due to a court order or an agreement made during a divorce, they have legal options for obtaining this support. A family law attorney may be able to explain these options and assist someone in choosing the best ones to pursue.

Source: Missouri Bar, "How Can a Child Support Order Be Enforced?", October 19, 2014

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