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Enforcing back child support payments

67022316_S.jpgMissouri parents who are going through a divorce and requesting child support might need to file a claim to collect retroactive support. They might have to provide several pieces of evidence such as proof that they have tried to collect support and that the other parent has failed to support the child. For a father who has not paid support, the custodial parent may have to prove that he is aware of his paternity.

The noncustodial parent may then counter the claim. Ideally, this would be done with receipts to demonstrate support, but if these are unavailable, the parent might have copies of communication that show support or people who can back up the provision of support. If they have not been making regular support payments, they may have been providing other types of support such as clothing and food. A parent who has been unable to provide monetary support might be providing child care.

However, even if there is no evidence that the parent has been providing support, the court still may not grant back support payments to the custodial parent. The court may take other factors into account including the ability of the noncustodial parent to pay the back support.

While parents are responsible for supporting their children, when determining child support, a court will consider the parent's income along with other elements such as how much support the parent might already be paying to other children. Parents who are not receiving the child support they are owed should not try to restrict the other parent's access to the child. Visitation rights are not supposed to be affected by whether a parent is paying support. Instead, a child support enforcement agency can take a number of actions to collect what is owed.

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