If you live in Missouri and have a child support plan in place, receiving that money on time can make a significant impact when caring for your child's needs. If your spouse has failed to pay the support owed, however, you are not left without options.
The first step to take is to make sure a child support order is in place and has all the proper information included. According to the Missouri Department of Social Services, you can report a change online to ensure that names, addresses, phone numbers and other necessary info is updated. If you have missed updating any of these items, it is possible that a payment or notice has been sent to an incorrect location. If you have received some money but believe the amount is off, verify that employment details, incomes, financial conditions, custody and other pertinent situations have been filed and updated to reflect the current circumstances.
If all the updates have been made and you still have not received proper payment, contact the state's Family Support Division. FSD can review the situation and recoup the payments owed to you with tools that include wage withholdings, making deductions from tax returns and placing liens on property. Keep in mind that the timeline may vary for FSD to go through all the channels if they are backlogged with requests.
Finally, file with the courts for a violation of the order. Consult with legal counsel to ensure that the proper papers are filed, which will result in a motion for civil contempt. This allows the court to enforce payment or have the defendant risk jail time for contempt if the court decides the payments are being withheld willfully.
Keep documentation of all communication regarding this issue. Also, be sure to keep detailed records of all dates and amounts paid as well as payments that have been missed.
This post is to be an educational resource only and should not be interpreted as legal counsel.