Missouri fathers: Make sure child support orders are enforced

It used to be that mothers were favored in the courtroom when it came to who should receive child custody in a divorce. Typically, the mother would end up receiving primary custody and the father would have visitation rights that equated to every other weekend — and in some cases — an additional few nights during the week. The father was also normally the one paying child support to the mother.

However, over the years the courts have started to realize that these types of arrangements are not always in the best interests of the children. Instead, there are fathers who are now being awarded primary custody while the mothers are the ones paying child support.

When this happens, just like any other child support arrangement, the mother is court-ordered to pay the child support. Falling behind on payments can mean criminal charges.

Take for example the recent 39-year-old mother who appeared in court on felony counts related to falling behind on child support. She ended up pleading guilty and was sentenced to the state’s Department of Corrections for five years on each count. However, this sentence was suspended with the order of post release supervision.

She was also ordered to pay back $5,000 toward what is owed and must pay an additional $270 in child support each month for her children until she has paid back what is owed.

In looking at cases such as this, caring for a child is quite expensive. Parents with primary custody need this child support money. This is why a father who is owed child support should not just let the infraction slide. Rather, if money is owed, contact an attorney in Missouri who has experience handling child support enforcement cases.

Source: WJTV, “Deadbeat Mom Sentenced for Failing to Pay Child Support,” April 16, 2013

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