Paying or receiving child support is a matter that many parents in Missouri have to address. The payment is a duty that typically falls upon the noncustodial parent, and the goal is to maintain a financial level of support that comes close to what the child had before the separation.
Before a child support arrangement can be established, it is first necessary to establish a relationship between the kid and parent. The act of giving birth typically establishes a woman as the mother of the child. For paternity, however, there are multiple ways to establish a biological relationship. If the husband and wife are married when the child is born, there is a presumption that the man is the father. For a father who is not married when their child is born, it will be necessary to complete a form that acknowledges the paternity. This form can be completed in the hospital after the birth or at a local Vital Statistics Registrar or Child Support Enforcement Agency.
There are sometimes instances in which the paternity of a child is unclear or in dispute. In these cases, a genetic test request may be submitted with the CSEA by either parent. The CSEA will then order all of the parties involved to participate in the testing. If either parent fails to comply with the order to undergo testing, they may be held in contempt and forced to submit to testing.
A family law attorney may provide suggestions regarding which legal avenues should be pursued in regard to child support. The attorney could engage in litigation to establish paternity, obtain modifications to existing child support orders or commence enforcement procedures to get delinquent child support payments.