What is Child Support and When does it Occur in Missouri?
Following a marriage termination in Missouri, either through a divorce or dissolution, certain matters ensues. If the union produced children, the court will address child custody and child support issues. Child custody determines who the child (or children) will live with or how the parents will share the child’s residence time after the marriage ends. The parent with whom the child lives is called the custodial parent, while the other parent is called the non-custodial parent.
The laws on domestic matters in Missouri states that every parent has a duty to a child, and as such, should be involved in securing the well-being of the child, even if both parents are no longer together. To ensure this, divorce and dissolution laws in Missouri require that the matter of how a child/children are to be cared for is addressed before the marriage ends. Both parents have to contribute to meet the financial needs of the child/children. This is referred to as child support, a monthly provision of financial resources to care for the children after the termination of a marriage.
To ensure that each parent of a child performs their duty in financially supporting the child/children of a terminated marriage, there are two entities with authority to enforce the child support duty on a defaulting parent in Missouri. These two entities are the family court and the Family Support Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services. The family court enforces child support payment through judicial order by declaring the default parent in Contempt of Court. This order can lead to the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of the defaulter. This action could be entered into by the court if the custodial parent files against the other parent before the court about missed child support payments. As a child support agreement is usually signed before a court, refusing to make the child support payment will be construed as a violation of judicial order, thus rendering the defaulting parent in contempt of court.
The Family Support Division (FSD) is a section of the Missouri Department of Social Services responsible for managing a number of services related to domestic matters in the state. Some of these services include helping with health care, child care, food stamps, blind assistance, and child support. The FSD is also responsible for enforcing the payment of child support, and it can accomplish this duty through a variety of means. The FSD can withhold monetary awards to the defaulting parent in the form of lottery winnings and tax refunds. The FSD can also contact the employer of the defaulting parent and instruct them to withhold part of the defaulting parent’s earnings or to ask the employer to place the parent’s child on a healthcare insurance plan. Finally, the FSD can contact the court and have the court place the defaulting parent in contempt of court for violating the child support order.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the document or person involved
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary.
What is Missouri Child Support?
Under Title XXX of the Missouri Statutes, Missouri child support refers to all monetary payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help cover the expenses of supporting and maintaining the child/children’s welfare after the marriage ends. This monetary payment is to ensure the financial well-being of the child until the child becomes independent or is emancipated.
What Does Child Support Cover in Missouri?
The purpose of child support is to ease the financial burden on the parent with which the child/children live while also ensuring that the child/children conceived during the marriage enjoy a similar financial situation to that which would exist if the marriage had not been ended. Child support covers the cost for all the basic needs of the child/children, including but not limited to feeding, clothing, and housing. It also covers the cost of healthcare, educational expenses, travel expenses (if the parents live a considerable distance from each other), extracurricular activities, and other essential financial needs of a child.
What is the Average Child Support Payment in Missouri?
The amount payable as child support in Missouri is calculated using the guidelines stated in Missouri Revised Statutes § 452.340 (2019). The gross income of the parents, the number of children being paid for, the alimony being paid, and the cost of healthcare are all considered before the child support amount is decided by the court. The minimum child support payment in Missouri is $50 for very low-income families, but the value will rise for families with larger incomes.
A parent can choose to pay more than the court order amount for child support, but the payment must not be less than. The court can also adjust the amount payable as child support if there exists a justifiable reason for such an adjustment to be made.
How Do I Apply for Child Support in Missouri?
Missouri Department of Social Services, family support division is saddled with overseeing child support applications, establishing child support orders, enforcing compliances, and reviewing child support modifications. Custodial and non-custodial parents, guardians with legal custody, adults from 18–21 are eligible to receive the child support payments. To apply for child support services, complete the Application for Child Support Services Form or get an application from the closest child support office. Print the application and mail the completed forms to the;
Family Support Division
P. O. Box 6790
Jefferson City MO 65102–6790
After submission, the Family Support Division uses the information provided to open a case. A letter of confirmation of the case opening, which contains the contact information and a case number, will be sent. The party involved can check the status of a submitted application by calling (573) 556–3800.
Anyone looking forward to public assistance, i.e., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or MOHealthNet, is referred to the Family Support Division for child support services. Participants are not required to file for an application for TANF and MOHealthNet. It is recommended that the following information, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, court order information, are available before starting the online application process.
How Do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Missouri?
In the circumstance that an estranged parent can’t make payments corresponding to the court order, such an individual can request for a modification or review of the court order. The interested party must submit a written request to the FSD.
As indicated by the Federal guidelines, the family support division is obligated to review the child support orders upon request to decide whether the support amount should be adjusted or if a medical support obligation is needed. An order can only be modified or reviewed at least two years after the court order was recorded. Notwithstanding, an exception states modification or review can take place as a result of a substantial change in circumstance, which can be justified with proof.
In this case, the FSD will request that the estranged parent fills a form explaining what the changes are since the last order. To request for modification or child review, the interested party can mail the request to Family Support Division P. O. Box 6790 Jefferson City, MO 65102–679. The party requesting modification or review must fully cooperate with the questions and forms of the family support division, or else the modification can be halted.
What is Back Child Support in Missouri?
In Missouri, back child support is known as arrearages. It is the amount of money accumulated by the failure of the non-custodial parent to offer support to a child under an administrative order. It is a past-due support payment an estranged spouse is required to pay by the court order to the custodial parent to support and cater for a child.
How Do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Missouri?
The Family Support Division assists custodial parents with receiving child support through enforcement actions permitted under the state and federal laws. These actions include requesting that employers withhold income or ordering employers to enroll children in health insurance plans, and requesting that the prosecuting attorney files civil contempt or criminal support charges. For inquiries on child support enforcement–related services, call toll–free 866–313–99.
Is there a Missouri Statute of Limitations on Child Support?
For child support enforcement, Missouri’s statute of limitations applies after ten years from the date of the first judgment or if the judgment has been revived after a court order or after the lapse of 10 years from the last recorded payment.