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Child support not a punishment for parents that must pay

47614125_s.jpgA recent study estimates that the cost of raising a child in the United States can exceed $230,000. Missouri parents probably have no trouble believing this number because the cost of living continues to rise and people worry about how to provide everything their child needs. In cases where a child's parents maintain separate households, it is not unusual for a court to order child support payments.

Child support payments are not meant as a punishment for a parent required to make these payments. Sometimes, a child lives primarily with one parent, and time is scheduled by the court to visit the other. Just because one parent has more physical custody time with a child does not mean that a court thinks he or she is a better parent. A court may set this type of schedule so that a child has a consistent routine through the week so he or she can focus on school and extracurricular activities and receive scheduled medical care. 

A parent with primary custody is tasked with meeting the day-to-day needs of a child, but he or she is not meant to bear the financial burden of providing food, clothing and shelter alone. In the United States, any person that maintains some form of parental rights is required to contribute financially to raising a child, which is what child support payments are intended to do. It is important to remember, however, that a good relationship and time spent with both parents is invaluable to a child, and no amount of money can replace the love and emotional support of Mom and Dad. 

If a Missouri parent needs to establish, modify or enforce a child support order, he or she will need to do so through the court. A misstep with paperwork or a missed court date can result in a longer wait for a child support order. Parents who want to make sure their ducks are in a row can always reach out to a friendly and knowledgeable attorney. 

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