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Delinquent Child Support Payments

Missing child support payments is serious. If  you live in Missouri and your ex-spouse has missed child support payments, you have a few things that you can do via the Division of Family Services. However, because it is often preferable to avoid using the judicial and administrative law system, it may be a good idea to send some sort of demand or warning letter. In this letter, state to the delinquent spouse that action will be taken if the child support payments are not made before a certain time (or that at least some arrangements are made).

From my experience, such demand letters generally fall on deaf ears (it’s generally worth a try). At this point, it is time to file in the Circuit Court which granted the original child support payments. Depending upon the local court rules, generally a “Motion and Affidavit for Contempt” and a “Order to Show Cause” are filed. The Motion asks the court to hold the delinquent spouse in civil contempt (for violating a court order) for missed child support payments, and the Order is a summons issued to the spouse to appear in court and answer for his or her non-payments.

Usually included in this Motion is a request for attorney’s fees and litigation expenses to further punish the delinquent spouse. In addition, it is not uncommon for courts to assess substantial interest on missed payments.

While these measures are messy, they are sometimes necessary.

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