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Reduced child support rates to prevent delinquent payments

Failure to pay child support could result from unaffordable rates mandated by courts in St. Charles County, Missouri. Some parents are unable to pay child support because of the recent recession, unemployment and poverty. Missouri parents with existing delinquent child support payments might hide from authorities because they cannot pay and are afraid of the consequences.

Federal law requires child support programs in every state to be reviewed every four years. Missouri could choose to modify child support programs as Wyoming did recently. The new bill passed in Wyoming pertaining to recalculation of child support payments for low-income parents is meant to benefit children who may not be receiving child support because the supporting parents cannot afford the rates ordered by the court.

The parent may be required to pay less under the new bill, making it more enforceable than before. Previously, parents who could not afford the payment were more likely to pay nothing at all, rather than pay what they could afford. Lawmakers hope that lower payment requirements will lead to more payments actually made in the future. Failure to pay child support could result in incarceration, suspension of driver's license and liens on the supporting parent's bank accounts.

The bill passed in Wyoming recalculated child support payments to be 32 percent of income for low-income parents, down from 36 percent. The support is enough to raise a child, and is based on clothing costs and costs of food and medicine needed by average children. Supporting parents in Missouri may often ask for the modification of child support if they are facing unemployment or other issues that result in reduction of their income.

Custodial parents, regardless of which state they are from, may have a hard time raising a child on their own. Both parents should know that aside from love and care, children also need financial support for their everyday expenses. Withholding the money for these needs may have an impact on their performance in the society and may cause all sorts of issues that can be avoided now.

Source: Star Tribune, "Wyoming committee recalculates low-income child support payments," Kyle Roerink, Jan. 10, 2013

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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