Overview of Child Support Services

What child support services does the Family Support Division provide?

The Family Support Division (FSD) helps families by providing the following services:

Establish Paternity — FSD can help establish paternity (legal fatherhood) for children born to unmarried parents. If the parents are certain “dad” is the child’s father, all the parents need to do is sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. If the paternity of the child is uncertain, FSD can arrange for a paternity test. If the test shows the man to be the child’s father, FSD or the court may enter an order establishing paternity.

Establish Support Orders — FSD establishes child and medical support orders when a support order does not exist. When determining the amount of the child support payment, FSD staff use the child support guidelines established by the Missouri Supreme Court. The guidelines consider the income of both parents. The Missouri Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet (Form 14) is used to calculate the child support amount.

Review Support Orders - FSD also reviews existing child and medical support orders to determine if the orders should be changed.

On a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or MO HealthNet case, Child Support either performs a review on its own or at either parent’s request. On non-TANF cases, Child Support conducts reviews if requested.

Enforce Support Orders — FSD helps families receive their child, medical and spousal support by:

  • Withholding income (wages, Workers’ Compensation benefits, unemployment compensation benefits, etc.);
  • Intercepting federal and state income tax refunds;
  • Ordering employers to enroll noncustodial parents’ children in health care plans;
  • Reporting noncustodial parents who owe past–due support to credit bureaus;
  • Filing liens on personal and/or real property;
  • Intercepting lottery winnings;
  • Suspending licenses (drivers, recreational, professional);
  • Asking the prosecuting attorney to file civil contempt or criminal non–support charges upon request by the applicant for services; and
  • Working with other states to collect support when noncustodial parents live outside Missouri.

Who is eligible for child support services?

The Missouri Family Support Division (FSD) is a state agency that provides child support services to:

  • Custodial parents - parents who live with the children.
  • Noncustodial parents - parents who do not live with the children.
  • Custodians - relatives or non-relatives if the non-relative has legal custody or guardianship.
  • Adult children - persons between the ages 18–21.
  • Alleged fathers - men whose fatherhood is in question.
  • The legal representative of the custodial parent’s/custodian’s estate when that person is deceased.
If children receive public assistance, FSD automatically receives a referral to provide services. If children do not receive public assistance, a person can apply for services.

How do I apply for child support services?

To apply, you must complete the application for child support services. You may submit your application online or download, print and mail the completed application.

When you submit an application, FSD will open a case using the information you provided, send you a letter confirming case opening and provide you with FSD contact information and a case number. Please keep this case–opening notice, with the case number, available for future reference.

Anyone receiving public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or MOHealthNet, is automatically referred to FSD for child support services. An application is not required for TANF and MOHealthNet participants.

What information is needed to apply for services?

FSD will use the information provided on the application for child support services to initiate a case.

Parents can help by providing as much information as possible. Information needed includes, if available:

  • Legal documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees and support payment records;
  • Information about the other parent’s home address, employer and/or other income source;
  • Complete financial information; and
  • Any changes in job, address or health care coverage.

What changes should be reported to the Family Support Division (FSD)?

Parents should report a change of address, telephone numbers and employment to FSD. Parents should also notify FSD if/when custody of the child changes, as well as provide any other information that may affect the child support case.

How can I get my child support amount changed (modified)?

If it has been three years since your order has been entered, last reviewed or modified, you may ask FSD to review your support order by writing to:

Family Support Division
PO Box 6790
Jefferson City MO 65102-6790

A modification review is only considered earlier if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Federal regulations require FSD to review child support orders upon request. The review will determine if the support amount should be adjusted (up or down) or if a medical support obligation is needed.

How can support payments be made and received?

FSD offers several ways for child support payments to be made and received. If you are ordered to pay child support, you may:

  • Arrange for automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings account;
  • Make online or credit card support payments at: mo.smartchildsupport.com; or
  • Send a check or money order.

If you receive child support, you may:

  • Arrange for direct deposit of your payments into your bank account; or
  • Receive payments on a prepaid card loaded with your support payments.

What if I want services, but I’m concerned about receiving mail or phone calls at my home?

Complete a Request for Use of Alternate Address to provide an address other than your home address as your contact address. Complete the Notice to Non–TANF Applicants: Domestic Violence Services to provide the Family Support Division (FSD) with a phone number or time during the day when it is safe for you to receive calls.

If you have been a victim or feel that you are at risk of being a victim of family violence from the other parent, advise FSD to take action to prevent your home address from being released to the other parent. FSD will then make sure that your address and Social Security number are not included on forms sent to the other parent. Below are links to information regarding resources near you that provide help for victims of domestic violence:

You may also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline number at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

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