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Understanding the ins and outs of child support

Being married with children can be a joyful and eventful experience. However, being divorced with children can be a complex and emotional matter. For Missouri parents going through a divorce, there are many serious matters to address and difficult decisions to make. One of these choices relates to the financial wellbeing of the child or children. While it can be difficult to reach a final agreement, it can be a very important divorce issue to resolve.

Whether this is a parent's first divorce or not or if multiple children are involved, most divorcing parents do not fully understand all the ins and outs of child support. While the basics of this financial support seek to ensure the best interests of the child are met, it goes much deeper than that.

Additionally, divorcing parents are aware that guidelines determine how much one parent will pay and for how long; however, they are often unaware what the money will be used for. While these payments are called child support, it isn't always clear how these funds are used and if they directly or indirectly benefit the child or children in question.

The recipient parent receives child support payments tax-free each month, or in some cases, each week. This money can then be spent at his or her discretion. This means that there is no accountability as to how the funds are used or handles. The payer parent just assumes that these funds are being used to benefit the children.

This often generates some frustrations between divorced parents, sometimes causing issues with child support payments. Nonetheless, if disputes emerge based on the original order, parents could file a motion for the enforcement of payments. Additionally, if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, a parent could seek modification. No matter the reason for dispute or issue, it is possible to negotiate or litigate the matter. In either cases, parents should take the time to fully understand his or her rights in the matter.

Source: The Huffington Post, "A Quick Child Support Tip," accessed May 3, 2017

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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