When Missouri parents decide to divorce, issues like child support and custody often prove to be especially complicated. Parents may notice that different support cases are handled in different ways. For example, some parties handle child support payments privately between the custodial and non-custodial parents while others make payments through a state-mandated system. This is because there are four major types of child support categories: IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D.
The "IV" refers to Title IV of the Social Security Act, which was passed in 1975. This law regulates the distribution of federal funds to the states to provide assistance to needy families. An IV-D child support case is one in which the Office of Child Support Enforcement assists the custodial parent in some way, whether through formally establishing paternity or enforcing a child support order in case the non-custodial parent fails to pay. For IV-A cases, the state seeks to defray Office of Child Support Enforcement costs by collecting child support. In IV-E cases, the child is in foster care or the care of someone else besides the parents.
Most child support matters are classified as non-IV-D cases. This means no mandatory state involvement is necessary and the parents handle the child support payments privately between themselves. If the non-custodial parent fails to pay according to the support order, it could become an IV-D case involving enforcement.
Child support matters my be confusing, but they can also be critical to the well-being of the children involved. A family law attorney could work with a divorcing spouse to reach an agreement about child support and custody that protects parent-child relationships and respects the best interests of the kids.