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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri child support laws could be changing

Missouri residents could be aware that a potential change in the child support laws has recently been passed by the state House of Representatives. This bill, if passed into law, could result in a significant change for child support of older children. Specifically, these child support changes would impact children who are enrolled in college or in other institutes of higher learning.

According to this bill, in order to continue to receive child support while in higher education, students must maintain a minimum of passing grades in at least 12 credit hours of classes. As it stands now, the law states that a child simply must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of classes; grades are not considered. Per the proposed law, child support would be terminated if the child does not meet these requirements.

This new child support law would require the parent to continue to support the child until he or she is 21 or until graduation. While there are obvious benefits to this law, opponents have spoken out against fully passing this law. There are concerns that older students, ones who do not graduate high school until they are already 18, would not have enough support for a complete college career.

The law will move to the Missouri Senate for further debate and a vote. For parents who are paying or receiving child support after a divorce, it would be prudent to know how any change would affect them individually. Child support laws in the state are already strictly enforced, making this proposed law an interesting change in the state.

Source: leaderjournal.com, "Child support bill makes next step", Arianna Poindexter, April 18, 2014

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