If you’re a non-custodial parent in Missouri, you are probably making child support payments to your ex-spouse. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you disagree with the way the custodial parent is spending the money you provide. Fatherly.com offers the following tips to ensure your child support obligation doesn’t negatively impact your relationship with your kids.
Payment should never be withheld
Maybe you’re upset with what your ex is spending money on, or you’re not getting visits as ordered by the court. While you might think that withholding support payments is the best action, doing so is not recommended. No matter the reason, failure to remit payments will leave you subject to a number of penalties, including wage garnishment, fines, and possibly even jail time. If you have concerns, document them and contact the court for assistance. For example, you may be able to modify visitation schedules to ensure you get to spend time with your kids.
Kids should be kept out of the process
Placing your child in the middle of a dispute about child support can have damaging effects. Your child may feel guilty about what is happening, which can harm his relationship with you and your former spouse. If you feel resentful, talk to your ex or take the matter up with the court. Don’t talk to your child about money, including how much you pay each month. If your child asks, respectfully state that this is an adult matter. The best interests of your child should triumph over all other divorce issues.
Professional legal assistance is crucial
Even if you have an amicable relationship with your ex, getting an attorney’s help on your case is a must. An attorney will ensure your rights are maintained and that your case is presented in the best possible light. If you experience financial issues and want to have a child support order modified, an attorney can also lend assistance. No matter how informed you believe you are, a lawyer will have privy to information that can make a huge difference to your case.