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Some parents in Missouri still owed child support

In the state of Missouri there are close to 400,000 people who are supposed to be paying child support. And while there are serious consequences for failing to pay, like wage garnishment and have a driver's license suspended, some are saying that some parents are still not paying, and that the Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement is in need of help when it comes to enforcing the rules on those who owe.

One woman recently shared her story, claiming that for the past eight years the most she's ever received is $850, and she believes that money came from a tax return or some kind of garnishment. In total, she claims to be owed $35,000 in child support.

In the past, the woman claims that she's done everything from contacting the Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement to even giving the department the man's address. However, she claims that she still hasn't seen any of the child support money.

When looking at what might have happened, the county assistant prosecuting attorney said that it could be that the man has left the area, which means that without knowing where he is the enforcement department can't make him pay or do anything.

And then - aside from this one parent's story - another believed to be issue at the Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement is that with close to 4,000 parents who are supposed to be paying, but only about 1,000 employees working for the department, there just are not enough resources to track a parent who owes.

However, even though it may be hard to track a mother or father who owes child support, it is not impossible. And for both those who are owed support - and also those who are having financial problems staying current - there may be legal options available.

Source: KRCG, "Are the laws on unpaid child support outdated?" Lucas Bond, 14 July 2011

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