Missouri Wage Garnishment: Missouri Child Support Garnishment

Generally, a Missouri wage garnishment order is assigned to a noncustodial parent following the conclusion of child custody proceedings. This order for child support is binding on the noncustodial parent, as well as on the noncustodial parent’s employer. In Missouri, as in other states, that employer is responsible for enforcing child support collection; an employer served with an order of support enforces the order by deducting for wage garnishment until the termination of the order. This article is meant to provide further details on the procedures involved in wage garnishment in Missouri.

Missouri Child Support Collection

A "support order" in Missouri must be served on the noncustodial parent’s employer either electronically or by first class mail with a return receipt requested. A "support order" is any judgment, order, or decree from a court of competent jurisdiction that requires withholding of wages for the purposes of support. Support can include expenses for the support of a spouse or a child, even one past the age of majority. The "support order" may also include court costs and related fees, attorneys’ fees, and interest and/or penalties.

Who Withholds the Money 

Once the noncustodial parent’s employer is served with an order for support, the employer may contest its enforcement within fourteen days. After the fourteen-day period passes, however, the employer is bound to withhold the support money until the order terminates. An administrator of income may also receive, and is similarly bound by, an order for support. An administrator of income can include an individual who oversees payment made from pension plans, workers’ compensation, or third-party sick pay insurance.

When is Money Withheld 

The employer must remit the first payment within fourteen days after the date of the order of support. If the order does not give a formula to use when determining how much to remit per payday, multiply the monthly amount due by twelve, and divide by the number of paydays per year. After the first payment is remitted, payment must be made within seven days after each of the employee’s paydays. Payment can be made to the issuing agency by either check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Missouri accepts both the Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) and Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) formats for EFT payment. If combining multiple employees subject to a support order, the employer should identify each employee by name and social security number, the amount remitted, and the date of the employee’s payday.

Out-of-State Orders 

Like all other states, Missouri follows the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This means that when an employer in Missouri receives a support order from out of state, they must honor it. Depending on the issue, the employer will have to be careful about which state’s laws to consult. Follow the laws of the state whose agency issued the order when determining how long to enforce the order, where to send the order, and the payment amount. On the other hand, when defining the employee’s disposable earnings, withholding limits, how to allocate two or more support orders, when to begin and remit withholding, the amount of allowable administration fees, and the procedure to follow upon the employee’s termination of employment, consult the laws of the employee’s work state.