St. Louis County
Prosecuting Attorney Office
Child Support Division
Located in the St. Louis County Courts Building in Clayton, Missouri.
Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm.
(314) 615-0195 fax
The child support program in the State of Missouri is administered by the Department of Social Services, Family Support Division (FSD). Missouri has enacted laws that allow FSD to establish, modify, and enforce child support orders without filing a legal action in court.
Child Support services are available without cost to all Missouri residents by application and are provided automatically to any custodial parent who receives Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) through Division of Family Services. There are 3 FSD offices located in the St Louis Metropolitan Area:
9900 Page Blvd 111N. 7th Street 4040 Seven Hills
St. Louis MO Suite 204 Florissant MO
63132 Wainwright Bldg 63033
Phone calls to these offices are handled by a Call Center at: 1-866-313-9960.
When legal action in Court becomes necessary, FSD will make referrals to our office. St Louis County PA only accepts referrals from FSD and does not initiate cases on its own.
Child support payments made in Missouri are processed through the Family Support Payment Center located in Jefferson City. For general information, you may call #1-800-558-8224. To check what payments have been collected and disbursed, you may call #1-800-225-0530 or visit their website at: http://dss.mo.gov/cse
TYPES OF LEGAL ACTION
A referral is received from FSD whenever the paternity of a child is in issue. Letters and documents are automatically sent to custodial parents once the referral is received. Once completed documents are returned, a legal action to establish paternity and/or child support obligation will be filed. The legal process takes approximately 6 months and all parties served with legal documents will be given a chance to have genetic testing and be notified of court dates. Those who come to court will have the opportunity to request a custody and visitation plan for the minor child.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office does not represent either parent or child in the paternity action. This office represents the State of Missouri’s interests. This office is not involved with custody/visitation disputes. Those issues must be presented to the Court by the interested party.
An option to enforce collection of a child support obligation is through a Motion for Contempt (MFC). An Order to Show Cause is issued by the Court when a MFC is filed by our office. This Order requires a person who owes child support to appear in Court and explain why they are not in contempt for their failure to pay child support. A person who is found in contempt, for willingly disobeying the order of support, could risk incarceration in the County Jail.
However, the Court generally allows every nonpaying parent the opportunity to begin making regular monthly payments. The case will be continued to monthly reporting dockets in which the nonpaying parent may enter into a payment agreement plan. Should a parent fail to show for Court, after being given notice, a Body Attachment will be issued for their arrest.
If a full hearing of Contempt becomes necessary because of ongoing disobedience, the custodial parent will be notified to appear and testify before the Court regarding the nonpayment.
Criminal Non Support
The failure of a parent to provide support for a minor child whom they are legally obligated to provide for can be charged the crime of Criminal Nonsupport. It is a Felony in the State of Missouri to accumulate an arrearage that exceeds the combined total of twelve (12) months arrearage of the support owed.
The purpose in filing a criminal charge, like all other criminal charges, is punishment, not like the Contempt proceeding, which is simply trying to get compliance to the court order. Therefore the nonpaying parent is afforded all of the same legal rights under the Constitution as any other criminal defendant. The defendant can be found guilty or innocent. He may plead to the charge or request a trial. Punishment can range from probation to one day in our county jail to 4 years in prison or a fine up to $5000.
If Probation is granted in the Criminal Nonsupport case, the judge may or may not follow a condition of payment under the child support order. The Prosecuting Attorney’s office makes a recommendation on every case that may be accepted or ignored. Most cases result in a plea of guilty with the offer of probation and a condition of payment for current and past support obligations. If probation is granted, this office will monitor and review the case regularly in addition to the State Board of Probation and Parole.
If you are a custodial parent, you will be given an opportunity to participate in the criminal process by completing questionnaires, probable cause statements and appearing at all court dockets. The criminal process could take 6 – 9 months for completion.
You may follow the criminal case through the internet at: https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet
Interstate (UIFSA cases)
If a noncustodial parent resides in another state and Missouri does not have legal jurisdiction to serve that parent with legal action, a petition can be sent to the state in which that parent resides, at the request of FSD, using the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Paternity orders and child support orders may be established, modified and enforced through UIFSA.