Missouri Child Support Collections and Fees
UPDATED: April 10, 2011
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
While employers are responsible for enforcing Missouri child support garnishment, they are not expected to do so without compensation. Missouri wage garnishment law allows the employer to charge the noncustodial parent a small fee for the extra work associated with enforcing child support collections. Further, because an employer is bound by law to enforce a support order, it is important that they contact the Missouri office of child support upon termination or retirement of the employee. Penalties for noncompliance with child support collections are harsh, and the employer should avoid failure to enforce at all costs. Read on for further information on Missouri child support collection.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
For purposes of a support order, Missouri defines income subject to withholding as any periodic payment due to an individual. This includes wages, commissions, bonuses, salaries, insurance benefits, pension plan payments, and interest. A noncustodial parent that is assigned a support order must consider any of these, or any other forms of income, as being subject to a support order. Some income, however, is subject to protections.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
In Missouri, an employer is not required to report lump-sum payments that are owed to the employee. However, Missouri Child Support Enforcement will act on any information the employer provides. For more information, contact:
Family Support Division
Financial Resolutions Section
P.O. Box 2277
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-2277
Phone: (573) 522-3479
Termination of Employment
If an employee terminates employment with the employer, the employer must notify the agency of this change within ten days of the date of termination. The employer should send a complete copy of the order along with the following information to Missouri Child Support Enforcement: the employee’s name and address, the company name, date of termination, and the new employer address, if known. If the employee retires, the employer should report this change to the agency as well. In this case, the name and address of the employee’s pension administrator should be included with the order.
An employer may charge a maximum of $6 per month for the costs associated with the enforcement of the support order. This fee must be deducted from the employee’s earnings, and not the support payment itself. In addition, the total fee and payment can never exceed the maximum withholding limits.
Penalty for Noncompliance
Employer penalties for failing to enforce an order in Missouri are stiff. An employer who does not comply with a support order is liable to the employee for any amount not withheld or remitted. Further, the court may order that the employer pay a fine of up to $500 per violation. The court may also order the employer to pay all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees associated with the action brought to enforce the order. However, in the case of a support order that does not provide the employee’s Social Security number, the employer will not be held liable if they accidently withhold for the wrong employee.
Missouri State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Department of Social Services
Division of Child Support Enforcement
P.O. Box 2320
Jefferson City, MO 65102-2320
Phone: (573) 751-8450
Fax: (573) 751-8450