Can licenses be suspended for failing to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2019 | Divorce

Missouri parents who are ordered to pay child support can face a variety of penalties if they fail to do so. While it can be difficult to make the payments in full and there are alternatives to have the amount modified if there is justification to do so, noncustodial parents who have a support order cannot simply decide not to pay the custodial parent for the support of the child. Most might be aware that a driver license can be suspended for failure to pay child support. However, it is also possible that a professional or occupational license can be suspended for it too.

It is important to know when there can be this level of suspension and how to avoid it. The court can order that these licenses be suspended and tell the supporting parent that he or she cannot take part in the activity related to the license until the support is paid. This can happen if the supporting parent – the obligor – has not made the child support payments according to the order and owed back support that comes to greater than three months of support or $2,500, whichever is less, when there is a notice of intent to suspend the license. It can also happen when the supporting parent, after being notified that the suspension is possible, does not comply with a court subpoena regarding the establishing of paternity, or to establish, modify, enforce support orders, or an order to have a genetic test.

When the supporting parent receives notice as to the intention of suspending the license because of child support issues, the following alternatives are available to avoid that suspension: paying the arrearage that is detailed on the notice; agree to a payment plan that the court has approved of; or ask for a hearing. Failure to comply with an agreement for repayment gives the court the right to send the notice that there is an intent to suspend the license.

Failure to pay child support is a common problem in a family law case after a divorce. For the custodial parent, the payments are necessary to care for the child. For the noncustodial parent, the payments must be made to avoid legal problems such as a suspended license. For assistance, people in either situation should call for legal advice on how to settle these cases, pay what is owed and avoid the negative implications of an occupational or professional license suspension. A law firm experienced in divorce and other family law situations can help.

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