Behind on Child Support Payments? You May Lose Your License.

5 Licenses You Could Lose for Failure to Pay Child Support

If a parent falls behind in child support obligations, Missouri law provides for multiple consequences.  It’s common knowledge that wages can be subject to a wage assignment or criminal charges can be filed. However, there are other potential consequences.
For instance, Missouri law allows for the loss of a license for anyone delinquent in child support payments of three months or $2500.00, whichever is less.
Licenses that can be taken due to delinquent child support payments fall into five categories:
1.  Business licenses:
Most businesses require a business license to operate.  If a delinquent parent has a business, he/she may lose the business license and be unable to continue to operate.  Likewise, if the business is a restaurant or bar, the parent may face the loss of a liquor license.
2.  Driver’s licenses:
Loss of a driver’s license can also impact the ability to maintain employment for a parent delinquent in child support, especially if the parent drives in connection with employment or are unemployable without a license.
3.  Occupational license:  
Many occupations require licensing, such as a cosmetology licenses required for hair stylists, nail technicians, and estheticians.  All of these licenses can be taken if a parent is delinquent in child support payments.
4.  Professional license:  
Many occupations require professional licenses.  Doctors, lawyers, counselors, psychologist, nurses, chiropractors, teachers, and therapists (to name only a few) can lose their license needed to work if delinquent in child support obligations.
5.  Recreational license:  
If a parent cannot work because of loss of a license, he/she cannot expect to spend the period of unemployment fishing or hunting.  All recreational licenses can be taken as well.
If you are a parent that is delinquent in child support, you face the loss of business, driver’s, occupational, professional or recreational license(s). You may prevent the loss only by paying the delinquency in full, or by entering into a payment plan to retire the delinquency and maintain timely payments as set forth in the payment plan.
If you are a parent who is not receiving the amount of child support set forth in a court order, taking a license from the parent obligated to pay support may be one way to attempt to enforce a child support order. (However, there are practical concerns about attempting to collect child support by taking away the obligated parent’s ability to engage in employment which would provide the source of funds to needed pay the obligated child support.)
Consultation with an experienced family law attorney can assist in addressing the issues and concerns raised in child support cases.

About the Author:

Christine Miller Hendrix has practiced law in O’Fallon and greater St. Charles County for more than 35 years. She practices primarily in family law, including cases of child custody, child support, divorce, alimony, and adoption. She has been elected twice by the local bar association to serve as a Special Master for cases pending in Family Court. She has served as a Guardian ad Litem for minor children in cases pending in the Family Court. She is the provisional prosecutor for the City of Wright City, Missouri. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University, teaching family law to graduate level students in the Masters Counseling Program.

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