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What happens when a custodial parent goes to jail?

Saint Louis, MO |

My husband pays $268 a month in child support and $55 a month in health insurance. He has never been involved with the child or met the child. The child's mother recently went to jail for a 3rd offense of stealing. She was on probabtion at the time of the crime. Her parents are taking care of her daughter now. Does my husband have to continue paying child support? Also, he only makes $8.00 per hour, is his support order the right amount he should be paying?

Attorney Answers 1


Your husband's support obligation will continue to be the same until modified by a court or the child support enforcement office. Even though the child's mother is in jail, you husband is still legally obligated to pay support, and if he fails to do so, he could be subject to contempt, or an income withholding order where the state would intercept money from his paychecks or tax returns. If your husband is unable to pay the amount of child support that he owes, and the situation for the child has changed, you can seek to modify the child support amount by going through the court system (I would strongly recommend using a lawyer to assist you with this), or contacting the child support enforcement office who could seek to modify the amount administratively. However, until an order is entered modifying the amount, he should continue paying the previous amount of support.

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