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Missouri House passes new child support legislation

St. Charles, Missouri, residents are aware that child support is used for a child's financial needs such as every day expenses and medical needs. However, child support can also be used for an older child's post-high school education. A new Missouri House bill has made continuation of monthly support payment contingent on a child attaining passing grades while in school.

The new legislation requires that a child enrolled in college or post-high school vocational program must pass every semester to receive child support benefits. The bill applies to students who have 12 or more credit hours. The current legislation has no such grade requirement for students.

If a child does not complete 12 credit hours and attain the minimum grade requirements and the court does not mitigate the circumstance, child support will be terminated. Child support termination will also occur if a child is unable to provide a non-custodial parent with proper documentation of his or her grades within a 30-day period. Monthly obligation ends when a child turns 21 or finishes his or her education, whichever comes first.

The new legislation faced member opposition. One representative from St. Louis County stated that it would make it harder for children who did not finish high school by age 18 to pursue a college education. On the other hand, a Jefferson City representative argued that the new measure encourages custodial parents to get their children to pass their college classes.

St. Charles County divorced parents having child support issues may seek the sound advice of a family lawyer. A professional can help shed light on child support laws as well as options for a parent having problems making the monthly payments.

Source: The Leader Journal, "Child support bill makes next step," Arianna Poindexter, April 18, 2014

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