Many parents depend on child support to ensure they have the funds necessary to provide for their children. Unfortunately, some parents attempt to avoid their responsibility to provide for their children financially. There are currently over 313,000 active Missouri child support orders. Noncustodial parents in the state owe more than $2 billion in back child support payments, which is why Missouri is stepping up and working to streamline its enforcement efforts.
Missouri Child Support Enforcement Efforts
One initiative currently underway is to eliminate the current paper employment filing process and implement a new website online where filings can be completed and processed more quickly and with fewer errors.
Another initiative targets noncustodial parents who fail to pay their Missouri child support obligations. Based on a grant provided by a Regional Child Support Office, Christian County hired attorneys to prosecute child support enforcement cases that the office could not previously handle because of a lack of funds. These lawyers collected $1 million during the first quarter of 2012, and the funds are increasing as collection efforts continue.
Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE)
The Missouri Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Support Enforcement ( DCSE) is the overarching state agency focused on facilitating the payment of child support in Missouri. The DCSE helps custodial parents by providing services like locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity and support orders, coordinating how child support funds are collected and disbursing payments to custodial parents.
The agency can also work with either single or divorced custodial parents to modify support orders, and enforce them when noncustodial parents fall behind on payments or stop paying altogether. The agency also periodically reviews all the child support orders it establishes. Child support orders will be modified if either parent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances.
If you have a child support issue that you have questions about or need legal assistance with, contact a Missouri family law and child support attorney for advice. Additionally if you have been contacted by DCSE, an attorney can review your case and provide insight on the best course of action based on your unique situation.
A family law attorney with experience dealing with child support orders and enforcement can help you navigate the child support system to ensure child support amounts are fairly determined and parents follow through with their support obligations.