Missouri Child Support
Missouri Child Support is a periodic payment made by a particular parent on behalf of a child which is needed at the breakdown of a marriage or other relationship. Child support in Missouri is usually paid for the support of children in a family where the relationship is broken or probably never existed. The terms used in child support include the obligor and the obligee. The obligor is the parent without the custody most times. While the obligee is the parent with the custody, a guardian or the state.
This is essentially aimed at providing a quality life for the child or children in a broken home situation.The individual paying the support has to provide for the essential needs of the child needing the child support which includes the child feeding, shelter, education, clothing and so on. Most times after separation, things get all the more complicated when your children require some level of financial support to pass through the emotional period. Due to the breakdown of the relationship, a child may have to spend more time with a particular parent. And most often than not, the non- custodial parent pays Missouri child support.
Missouri’s Child Support program began in 1977 under an executive order, and on August 15, 1986, the Child Support program was created by statute. Child Support has the responsibility for operating the Child Support program pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act (originally adopted as P.L. 93-647) and Chapter 454 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo).
The Child Support program responsibilities include locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing child and medical support orders, monitoring and enforcing compliance with child and medical support orders, reviewing and initiating modification of support orders and distributing support collections.
Child Support customers come from several sources. When a custodial parent receives Temporary Assistance or MO HealthNet benefits, a referral is made to the Child Support program. Child Support collections on behalf of households receiving public assistance not only eliminate dependence on assistance programs, but reimburse the state for the benefits provided to these families.
Individuals not receiving public assistance benefits may apply for Child Support services. To request an application, contact any Child Support office, access the application online, or call 1-800-859-7999.
The Child Support program consists of a Central Office located in Jefferson City, two regional offices, and field offices across the state. The field offices are comprised of supervisory, investigative and support staff. In addition, local prosecuting attorneys and circuit court clerks assist with Child Support responsibilities. The majority of prosecutors in Missouri provide legal support (e.g., the filing of paternity actions, criminal nonsupport and enforcement actions) for cases Child Support staff refer to them. Circuit court clerks support Child Support staff by filing legal documents and providing copies of documents already on file.
Paternity establishment is the process of determining that a man is a child’s legal father. Paternity must be determined prior to establishing a child support order.
How is paternity established?
Parents who are not married may establish legal paternity for a child in one of two ways:
- Both parents may sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity at the hospital when the baby is born. The Affidavit allows the parents to voluntarily declare paternity for the child. When both parents properly complete and sign their respective Affidavit, the man becomes the legal father of the child and his name is placed on the child’s birth certificate.If the parents don’t complete the Affidavit at the hospital, it’s not too late. The parents can contact the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Bureau of Vital Records or the Family Support Division (FSD) to get an Affidavit and assistance in completing the Affidavit to establish legal paternity.
- Obtain an order naming the man as the father of the child. FSD can assist with obtaining an order that establishes paternity.
When the mother is married, but not to the father of the child, the Husband’s Denial of Paternity, a part of the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity, can be completed by the mother and her husband. If the husband is not cooperative or his location is unknown, the married mother may apply for Child Support services to assist with obtaining an order that establishes paternity.
What if I am uncertain about the paternity of my child?
Free paternity testing may be obtained through FSD. Paternity testing (also known as DNA testing or genetic testing) involves a simple swipe of a Q-tip©–like swab inside the cheek of the child, mother and the man. The samples are then sent to a laboratory for testing. If the results of the genetic test show at least a 98 percent probability that the man is the father, then the man is the presumed father under Missouri law. Genetic testing alone does not establish legal paternity. Parents must complete an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity or obtain an order naming the man as the father of the child.
Note: FSD offers free paternity testing only when paternity has not been established.
For assistance with paternity questions, such as how to get the father’s name listed on the child’s birth certificate or how to obtain paternity testing, please call toll free at 1-855-454-8037.
About Child Support Awareness Month
Each August Missouri observes National Child Support Awareness Month. During this time, child support offices and employees recognize the critical role child support plays in the lives of children and the value of both parents contributing to their child’s future.
Child Support Awareness Month is also a time to celebrate the progress that has been made with efforts to establish paternity and increase child support collections. These efforts allow children to receive both the emotional and the financial support they need from each of their parents to reach their full potential.
Child Support offices reach out to their surrounding communities by volunteering their time and donating items to community agencies to help Missouri families. These outreach activities take place throughout the year.
How We Help
Along with participating in community events, our staff and local offices work together to give back to their surrounding communities by collecting and donating items. This year local Missouri Child Support offices will:
- Raise money to help purchase items needed for the Back to School program
- Participate in a back to school backpack and school supply drive
- Collect jars of peanut butter (each year approximately 4,000 jars are sent home with children)
- Raise money and collect donations to provide children in school with food and supplies
The information above comes directly from the official Missouri Department of Social Services Website we strongly recommend contacting them with any questions regarding Missouri Child Support Payments or current Missouri Child Custody Cases.