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Missouri Divorce Laws

Chapter 452
Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Alimony and Separate Maintenance

August 28, 2009





Verified pleadings, form and content.

452.025. 1. All pleadings required to be verified under this chapter may at the time of execution be made by the acknowledgment thereof by the petitioner or respondent made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this state, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, attached or annexed to the pleading in form and content substantially as follows:

THE STATE OF ......................

COUNTY OF .........................

(The undersigned), of lawful age, being duly sworn on his/her oath, states that he/she is the petitioner/respondent named above and that the facts stated in the ................... are true according to his/her best knowledge and belief.

.............................

Petitioner/Respondent

Subscribed and sworn to before me this ..... day of ....., 20...

My commission expires: ................................. .............................. Notary Public

2. All references in this chapter regarding a "verified" document shall be satisfied by compliance with the requirements of subsection 1 of this section.

(L. 2004 S.B. 1211)



Remarriage of former spouse ends alimony.

452.075. When a divorce has been granted, and the court has made an order or decree providing for the payment of alimony and maintenance, the remarriage of the former spouse shall relieve the spouse obligated to pay support from further payment of alimony to the former spouse from the date of the remarriage, without the necessity of further court action, but the remarriage shall not relieve the former spouse from the provisions of any judgment or decree or order providing for the support of any minor children.

(L. 1957 p. 390 1, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

(1977) Subsequent remarriage terminated alimony even though such marriage was annulled because of fraud. Glass v. Glass (A.), 546 S.W.2d 738.



Decree for alimony--a lien, when.

452.080. Upon a decree of divorce, the court may, in its discretion, decree alimony in gross or from year to year. When alimony is decreed in gross, such decree shall be a general lien on the realty of the party against whom the decree may be rendered, as in the case of other judgments. When such decree is for alimony from year to year, such decree shall not be a lien on the realty as aforesaid, but an execution in the hands of the proper officer, issued for the purpose of enforcing such decree, shall constitute a lien on the real and personal property of the defendant in such execution, so long as the same shall lawfully remain in the possession of such officer unsatisfied. In lieu of the lien of such decree for alimony from year to year, it is hereby provided that the party against whom such decree may be rendered shall be required to give security ample and sufficient for such alimony; but where default has been made in giving such security, the decree for alimony from year to year shall be a lien as in case of general judgments.

(RSMo 1939 1520, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 1356; 1919 1807; 1909 2376

(1977) Statute allowing award of maintenance in gross was not repealed by the dissolution of marriage statutes and 452.335 does not preclude award of maintenance in gross. Carr v. Carr (A.), 556 S.W.2d 511.



Decree as to alimony only subject to review.

452.110. No petition for review of any judgment for divorce, rendered in any case arising pursuant to this chapter, shall be allowed, any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding; but there may be a review of any order or judgment touching the alimony and maintenance of the spouse, and the care, custody and maintenance of the children, or any of them, as in other cases.

(RSMo 1939 1525, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 1361; 1919 1812; 1909 2381



Spouse abandoned, court to adjudge maintenance--execution to enforce.

452.130. When a person, without good cause, shall abandon his or her spouse, and refuse or neglect to maintain and provide for him or her, the circuit court, on his or her petition for that purpose, shall order and adjudge such support and maintenance to be provided and paid by such person for the spouse and the spouse's children, or any of them, by that marriage, out of his property, and for such time as the nature of the case and the circumstances of the parties shall require, and compel the person to give security for such maintenance, and from time to time make such further orders touching the same as shall be just, and enforce such judgment by execution, sequestration of property, or by such other lawful means as are in accordance with the practice of the court; and as long as said maintenance is continued, the person shall not be charged with the spouse's debts, contracted after the judgment for such maintenance.

(RSMo 1939 3376, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2989; 1919 7314; 1909 8295

CROSS REFERENCE:

Amounts paid under order of support, credited how, RSMo 454.280

(1973) Judgment of trial court dismissing Petition for Separate Maintenance with prejudice may not be set aside unless it is clearly erroneous. Brokaw v. Brokaw (A.), 492 S.W.2d 859.



No property exempt from attachment or execution, when.

452.140. No property shall be exempt from attachment or execution in a proceeding instituted by a person for maintenance, nor from attachment or execution upon a judgment or order issued to enforce a decree for alimony or for the support and maintenance of children. And all wages due to the defendant shall be subject to garnishment on attachment or execution in any proceedings mentioned in this section, whether the wages are due from the garnishee to the defendant for the last thirty days' service or not.

(RSMo 1939 3377, A.L. 1957 p. 391, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2990; 1919 7315; 1909 8296

(1952) Garnishment on judgment in divorce action for support and maintenance of minor children held limited to ten percent of wages of defendant who had remarried, had children and was head of family. York v. York (A.), 249 S.W.2d 870.

(1957) Where judgment consisting of $1,243.33 for alimony and $2,486.67 for child support was revived in 1953 against nonresident defendant, garnishment could reach only 10% of amount of defendant's wages for child support but entire amount of wages could be seized to satisfy judgment for alimony. Ferneau v. Armour & Co. (A.), 303 S.W.2d 161.



Services and earnings of unmarried minor children--custody and control of.

452.150. The father and mother living apart are entitled to an adjudication by the circuit court as to their powers, rights and duties in respect to the custody and control and the services and earnings and management of the property of their unmarried minor children without any preference as between the said father and mother, and neither the father nor the mother has any right paramount to that of the other in respect to the custody and control or the services and earnings or of the management of the property of their said unmarried minor children; pending such adjudication the father or mother who actually has the custody and control of said unmarried minor children shall have the sole right to the custody and control and to the services and earnings and to the management of the property of said unmarried minor children.

(RSMo 1939 1526, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

Prior revisions: 1929 1362; 1919 1813

CROSS REFERENCES:

Consent of parents necessary to adopt, RSMo 453.030 to 453.050

Custody of children, award on habeas corpus, RSMo 532.370

Transfer of custody of child prohibited, RSMo 453.110

(1953) Where divorce decree awarded custody of child to father and made no provision for visitation by the mother, nor for keeping the child in this state, the removal of the child from the state by the father did not constitute contempt. Middleton v. Tozer (A.), 259 S.W.2d 80.

(1953) On motion to modify decree as to custody of minor child, there must not only be proof of a change in conditions but it must be a change that would beneficially affect the interest of the child. Frams v. Black (A.), 259 S.W.2d 104.

(1954) In action by divorced mother to recover amounts expended for support of child from its father, limitations must be computed from the time the cause of action accrued and not from the date of last item in the account. Allen v. Allen, 364 Mo. 955, 270 S.W.2d 33.

(1957) Court of equity has inherent power to allow suit money attorney fees to the mother in proceeding to obtain custody of child. I.... v. B.... (A.), 305 S.W.2d 713.

(1963) Where court makes no custody award in a divorce action, it is not res judicata in subsequent action for custody of children. R.... v. E.... (A.), 364 S.W.2d 821.

(1963) Jurisdiction of trial court in divorce action to make an ad interim order with respect to the temporary custody of minor children pending the appeal, upon pleading and proof that their welfare is substantially endangered during that period, is not divested by the giving of the statutory supersedeas bond. State ex re. Stone v. Ferris (Mo.), 369 S.W.2d 244.

(1968) The Missouri Supreme Court held that the proper construction of Missouri statutory provisions relating to the obligations and rights of parents affords illegitimate children a right equal with that of legitimate children to require support by their fathers. Prior cases to the contrary were expressly overruled. R.... v. R.... (Mo.), 431 S.W.2d 152.



Father and mother, parent, child, defined--how construed.

452.160. The terms of section 452.150 shall apply to children born out of wedlock and to children born in wedlock, and the terms "father and mother", "parent", "child", shall apply without reference to whether a child was born in lawful wedlock.

(RSMo 1939 1527)

Prior revision: 1929 1363

CROSS REFERENCE:

Issue of certain marriages legitimate, RSMo 474.080

(1968) The Missouri Supreme Court held that the proper construction of Missouri statutory provisions relating to the obligations and rights of parents affords illegitimate children a right equal with that of legitimate children to require support by their fathers. Prior cases to the contrary were expressly overruled. R. . . . v. R. . . . (Mo.), 431 S.W.2d 152.



Petition for enjoyment of spouse's separate estate, when.

452.170. If any married person shall hold real estate in his or her own right, and his or her spouse, by criminal conduct toward him or her, or by ill usage, shall give him or her cause to live separate and apart from him or her, such person may petition the circuit court, setting forth such facts, and therein pray that such estate may be enjoyed by him or her for his or her sole use and benefit.

(RSMo 1939 3386, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2999; 1919 7324; 1909 8305



Circuit court may make decree.

452.180. The circuit court, on due proof of such facts, may, in its discretion, make such order and decree in the premises as shall give such married person the sole use and benefit of such real estate, or such part thereof as it may think reasonable.

(RSMo 1939 3387, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 3000; 1919 7325; 1909 8306



Authorization by court to sell property.

452.190. When any married person shall abandon his or her spouse, or from worthlessness, drunkenness or other cause fail to make sufficient provision for his or her support, the circuit court of the county where he or she has his or her home and residence may, on his or her petition, authorize him or her to sell and convey his or her real estate, or any part thereof, and also any personal estate which shall, at the time, have come to such person by reason of the marriage, and which may remain within the state undisposed of by him.

(RSMo 1939 3378, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2991; 1919 7316; 1909 8297



Married person enjoined from squandering property at suit of spouse.

452.200. Any married person may file a petition in the circuit court, setting forth that his or her spouse, from habitual intemperance, or any other cause, is about to squander and waste the property, money, credits or choses in action to which he or she is entitled in his or her own right, or any part thereof, or is proceeding fraudulently to convert the same, or any part thereof, to the spouse's own use, for the purpose of placing the same beyond his or her reach, and depriving him or her of the benefit thereof; and the court, upon the hearing of the case, may enjoin the spouse from disposing of or otherwise interfering with such property, moneys, credits and choses in action, and may appoint a receiver to control and manage the same for the benefit of the petitioner, and may also make such other order in the premises as they may deem just and proper, and upon the filing of such petition an injunction may be allowed as in other cases, and such petition shall be filed in the county where said petitioner resides, and the spouse of said petitioner shall be made a party defendant to said petition.

(RSMo 1939 1682, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 1518; 1919 1968; 1909 2533



Court may authorize persons holding money of married person to pay spouse.

452.210. The court may also, upon the petition of such person, authorize any person holding money or other personal estate to which the spouse is entitled in his or her right to pay and deliver the same to the petitioner, and may authorize him or her to give a discharge for the same, which discharge shall be as valid as if made by the spouse.

(RSMo 1939 3379, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2992; 1919 7317; 1909 8298



Married person entitled to proceeds of earnings of his or her minor children, when.

452.220. Such married person, during the period his or her spouse shall fail to provide for his or her support, as stated in section 452.130, shall be entitled to the proceeds of the earnings of his or her minor children; and the same shall be under his or her sole control and shall not be liable in any manner for the spouse's debts.

(RSMo 1939 3380, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2993; 1919 7318; 1909 8299



Proceeds used for support of himself or herself and family.

452.230. All the proceeds of such sales, and all other money and personal estate which shall come to the hands of a person by force of the provisions of sections 451.250 to 451.300, RSMo, and sections 452.130, 452.140, 452.170 to 452.190 and 452.210 to 452.250, may be used and disposed of by him or her for the necessary support of himself or herself and family.

(RSMo 1939 3381, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2994; 1919 7319; 1909 8300

CROSS REFERENCE:

Workers' compensation death benefits, rights of widows and children, RSMo 287.240



Filing of petition, proceedings.

452.240. The petition of a married person for any of the purposes before mentioned may be filed and the case heard and determined in the circuit court, and the like process and proceedings shall be had as in other civil suits triable before circuit judges.

(RSMo 1939 3382, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 2995; 1919 7320; 1909 8301



Proceedings on such petition--appeal allowed, when and where.

452.250. The same proceedings shall be had in relation to such petition as the law requires in other proceedings before circuit judges, and in relation to enforcing the orders and decrees, except that no appeal shall be allowed to the supreme court, or court of appeals, from any order or decree, on the part of the person's spouse, until he or she has indemnified the petitioner for all delays and costs, in such manner as the court shall direct.

(RSMo 1939 3388, A.L. 1973 S.B. 263, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 2001 H.B. 537)

Prior revisions: 1929 3001; 1919 7326; 1909 8307



Procedure and venue.

452.300. 1. The rules of the supreme court and other applicable court rules shall govern all proceedings pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415.

2. A proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of marriage shall be entitled: "In re the Marriage of ..... and .....".

3. The initial pleading in an original proceeding pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415 shall be denominated a "petition" and the responsive pleading in an original proceeding shall be denominated an "answer". Other pleadings in an original proceeding and all pleadings in other proceedings pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415 shall be denominated as provided in the rules of the supreme court and other applicable court rules.

4. Any party who files the initial pleading in an original proceeding pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415 shall be denominated the "petitioner" and any party who is required to file or who files a responsive pleading in an original proceeding shall be denominated the "respondent". Each party shall retain such denomination from the original proceeding in any other proceedings pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415.

5. An original proceeding pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415 shall be commenced in the county in which the petitioner resides or in the county in which the respondent resides. If an original proceeding is commenced in the county in which the petitioner resides, upon motion by the respondent filed prior to the filing of a responsive pleading, the court in which the proceeding is commenced may transfer the proceeding to the county in which the respondent resides if:

(1) The county in which the respondent resides had been the county in which the children resided during the ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding; or

(2) The best interest of the children will be served if the proceeding is transferred to the county in which the respondent resides because:

(a) The children and at least one parent have a significant connection with the county; and

(b) There is substantial evidence concerning the present or future care, protection and personal relationships of the children in the county.

6. In proceedings pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415, "judgment" shall include a "decree".

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 1, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Judgment of dissolution, grounds for--legal separation, when--judgments to contain Social Security numbers.

452.305. 1. The court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage if:

(1) The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

(2) The court finds that there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is irretrievably broken; and

(3) To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for child custody, the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

2. The court shall enter a judgment of legal separation if:

(1) The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

(2) The court finds that there remains a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is not irretrievably broken; and

(3) To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for the custody and the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

3. Any judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall include the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of the parties. The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required under section 509.520, RSMo.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 2, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Petition, contents--service, how--rules to apply--defenses abolished--parenting plans submitted, when, content, exception.

452.310. 1. In any proceeding commenced pursuant to this chapter, the petition, a motion to modify, a motion for a family access order and a motion for contempt shall be verified. The petition in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage shall allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that therefore there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. The petition in a proceeding for legal separation shall allege that the marriage is not irretrievably broken and that therefore there remains a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.

2. The petition in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall set forth:

(1) The residence of each party, including the county, and the length of residence of each party in this state and in the county of residence;

(2) The date of the marriage and the place at which it is registered;

(3) The date on which the parties separated;

(4) The name, age, and address of each child, and the parent with whom each child has primarily resided for the sixty days immediately preceding the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation;

(5) Whether the wife is pregnant;

(6) The last four digits of the Social Security number of the petitioner, respondent and each child;

(7) Any arrangements as to the custody and support of the children and the maintenance of each party; and

(8) The relief sought.

3. Upon the filing of the petition in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, each child shall immediately be subject to the jurisdiction of the court in which the proceeding is commenced, unless a proceeding involving allegations of abuse or neglect of the child is pending in juvenile court. Until permitted by order of the court, neither parent shall remove any child from the jurisdiction of the court or from any parent with whom the child has primarily resided for the sixty days immediately preceding the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation.

4. The mere fact that one parent has actual possession of the child at the time of filing shall not create a preference in favor of such parent in any judicial determination regarding custody of the child.

5. The respondent shall be served in the manner provided by the rules of the supreme court and applicable court rules and, to avoid an interlocutory judgment of default, shall file a verified answer within thirty days of the date of service which shall not only admit or deny the allegations of the petition, but shall also set forth:

(1) The last four digits of the Social Security number of the petitioner, respondent and each child;

(2) Any arrangements as to the custody and support of the child and the maintenance of each party; and

(3) The relief sought.

6. Previously existing defenses to divorce and legal separation, including but not limited to condonation, connivance, collusion, recrimination, insanity, and lapse of time, are abolished.

7. The full Social Security number of each party and each child and the date of birth of each child shall be provided in the manner required under section 509.520, RSMo.

8. The petitioner and respondent shall submit a proposed parenting plan, either individually or jointly, within thirty days after service of process or the filing of the entry of appearance, whichever event first occurs of a motion to modify or a petition involving custody or visitation issues. The proposed parenting plan shall set forth the arrangements that the party believes to be in the best interest of the minor children and shall include but not be limited to:

(1) A specific written schedule detailing the custody, visitation and residential time for each child with each party including:

(a) Major holidays stating which holidays a party has each year;

(b) School holidays for school-age children;

(c) The child's birthday, Mother's Day and Father's Day;

(d) Weekday and weekend schedules and for school-age children how the winter, spring, summer and other vacations from school will be spent;

(e) The times and places for transfer of the child between the parties in connection with the residential schedule;

(f) A plan for sharing transportation duties associated with the residential schedule;

(g) Appropriate times for telephone access;

(h) Suggested procedures for notifying the other party when a party requests a temporary variation from the residential schedule;

(i) Any suggested restrictions or limitations on access to a party and the reasons such restrictions are requested;

(2) A specific written plan regarding legal custody which details how the decision-making rights and responsibilities will be shared between the parties including the following:

(a) Educational decisions and methods of communicating information from the school to both parties;

(b) Medical, dental and health care decisions including how health care providers will be selected and a method of communicating medical conditions of the child and how emergency care will be handled;

(c) Extracurricular activities, including a method for determining which activities the child will participate in when those activities involve time during which each party is the custodian;

(d) Child care providers, including how such providers will be selected;

(e) Communication procedures including access to telephone numbers as appropriate;

(f) A dispute resolution procedure for those matters on which the parties disagree or in interpreting the parenting plan;

(g) If a party suggests no shared decision-making, a statement of the reasons for such a request;

(3) How the expenses of the child, including child care, educational and extraordinary expenses as defined in the child support guidelines established by the supreme court, will be paid including:

(a) The suggested amount of child support to be paid by each party;

(b) The party who will maintain or provide health insurance for the child and how the medical, dental, vision, psychological and other health care expenses of the child not paid by insurance will be paid by the parties;

(c) The payment of educational expenses, if any;

(d) The payment of extraordinary expenses of the child, if any;

(e) Child care expenses, if any;

(f) Transportation expenses, if any.

9. If the proposed parenting plans of the parties differ and the parties cannot resolve the differences or if any party fails to file a proposed parenting plan, upon motion of either party and an opportunity for the parties to be heard, the court shall enter a temporary order containing a parenting plan setting forth the arrangements specified in subsection 8 of this section which will remain in effect until further order of the court. The temporary order entered by the court shall not create a preference for the court in its adjudication of final custody, child support or visitation.

10. Within one hundred twenty days after August 28, 1998, the Missouri supreme court shall have in effect guidelines for a parenting plan form which may be used by the parties pursuant to this section in any dissolution of marriage, legal separation or modification proceeding involving issues of custody and visitation relating to the child.

11. The filing of a parenting plan for any child over the age of eighteen for whom custody, visitation, or support is being established or modified by a court of competent jurisdiction is not required. Nothing in this section shall be construed as precluding the filing of a parenting plan upon agreement of the parties or if ordered to do so by the court for any child over the age of eighteen for whom custody, visitation, or support is being established or modified by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 3, A.L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al., A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2004 H.B. 1364 merged with S.B. 1211, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Petition for dissolution filed when, requirements.

452.311. A petition is not filed within the meaning of supreme court rule 53.01 in any cause of action authorized by the provisions of this chapter, unless a summons is issued forthwith as required by supreme court rule 54.01, a verified and notarized entry of appearance of respondent is filed or an attorney files an entry of appearance on behalf of respondent.

(L. 1989 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 2 7, A.L. 1991 S.B. 312, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613)



Parties' current employers and Social Security numbers to be contained in certain pleadings and decrees.

452.312. 1. Every petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, every motion for modification of a decree respecting maintenance or support, and every petition or motion for support of a minor child shall contain the last four digits of the Social Security number of the petitioner or movant, if a person, and the last four digits of the Social Security number of the respondent. The name and address of the petitioner's and respondent's current employer shall be provided and retained in the same manner as required under section 509.520, RSMo.

2. Every responsive pleading to a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, motion for modification of a decree respecting maintenance or support, and petition or motion for support of a minor child shall contain the name and address of the current employer and the last four digits of the Social Security number of the respondent, if the respondent is a person.

3. Every decree dissolving a marriage, every order modifying a previous decree of dissolution or divorce, and every order for support of a minor child shall contain the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of the parties, if disclosed by the pleadings.

4. The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required by section 509.520, RSMo.

(L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Guardian for incapacitated person may file for dissolution or separation if ward is a victim of spousal abuse.

452.314. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a guardian for an incapacitated person may file a petition for dissolution of the marriage of, or if the incapacitated person has a history of religious objection to divorce, the guardian may file for a legal separation for such incapacitated person and may give testimony in support of the allegations contained in the petition, if the guardian has reasonable cause to believe that the incapacitated person has been the victim of abuse by the spouse of such incapacitated person.

(L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al.)



Authorized motions--restraining order, when, answer, when due, effect of--child support, temporary order, when, amount.

452.315. 1. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, either party may move for temporary maintenance and for temporary support for each child entitled to support. The motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the factual basis for the motion and the amounts requested. In a proceeding for disposition of property, maintenance or support following the dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, either party may move for maintenance and for support of each child entitled to support. This motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the factual basis for the motion and the amounts requested. This motion and the affidavit shall be served as though an original pleading upon the opposite party.

2. As a part of a motion for temporary maintenance or support or by independent motion accompanied by affidavit, either party may request the court to issue an order after notice and hearing:

(1) Restraining any person from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life and, if so restrained, requiring the person to notify the moving party of any proposed extraordinary expenditures and to account to the court for all extraordinary expenditures made after the order is issued;

(2) Enjoining a party from harassing, abusing, molesting or disturbing the peace of the other party or of any child;

(3) Excluding a party from the family home or from the home of the other party upon a showing that physical or emotional harm would otherwise result;

(4) Establishing and ordering compliance with a custody order and providing for the support of each child.

3. The court may issue a restraining order only if it finds on the evidence that irreparable injury would result to the moving party if an order is not issued until the time for answering has elapsed.

4. An answer may be filed within ten days after service of notice of motion or at the time specified in the restraining order.

5. On the basis of the showing made and in conformity with section 452.335 on maintenance and section 452.340 on support, the court may issue a temporary injunction and an order for temporary maintenance or support in such amounts and on such terms as are just and proper in the circumstances.

6. A restraining order or temporary injunction:

(1) Does not prejudice the rights of the parties or the child which are to be adjudicated at subsequent hearings in the proceedings;

(2) May be revoked or modified prior to final judgment on a showing by affidavit of the facts necessary to revocation or modification of a final judgment pursuant to section 452.370; and

(3) Terminates when the final judgment is entered or when the petition for dissolution or legal separation is voluntarily dismissed.

7. The court shall enter a temporary order requiring the provision of child support pending the final judicial determination if there is clear and convincing evidence establishing a presumption of paternity pursuant to section 210.822, RSMo. In determining the amount of child support, the court shall consider the factors set forth in section 452.340.

8. Any order entered in modification or vacation of any temporary order entered pursuant to this section may be retroactive to the date of entry of the original temporary order.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 4, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Termination of insurance prohibited, when.

452.317. From the date of filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, no party shall terminate coverage during the pendency of the proceeding for any other party or any minor child of the marriage under any existing policy of health, dental or vision insurance.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 3)



Counseling for minor children ordered, when, costs.

452.318. In any action for dissolution of marriage involving minor children, the court may order counseling for such children. The court may assess and apportion the costs of child counseling between the parties.

(L. 1999 S.B. 329 1)



Finding that marriage is irretrievably broken, when--notice--denial by a party, effect of--alternate findings.

452.320. 1. If both of the parties by petition or otherwise have stated under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one of the parties has so stated and the other has not denied it, the court, after considering the aforesaid petition or statement, and after a hearing thereon shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

2. If one of the parties has denied under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospect of reconciliation, and after hearing the evidence shall

(1) Make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken, and in order for the court to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the petitioner shall satisfy the court of one or more of the following facts:

(a) That the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;

(b) That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;

(c) That the respondent has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months preceding the presentation of the petition;

(d) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the petition;

(e) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least twenty-four months preceding the filing of the petition; or

(2) Continue the matter for further hearing not less than thirty days or more than six months later, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached on the court's calendar, and may suggest to the parties that they seek counseling. No court shall require counseling as a condition precedent to a decree, nor shall any employee of any court, or of the state or any political subdivision of the state, be utilized as a marriage counselor. At the adjourned hearing, the court shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken as set forth in subdivision (1) above and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 5, A.L. 1977 H.B. 470)

(1976) This act is not a true "no fault" dissolution law and dissolution should not be granted over the objection of an innocent spouse. In re Marriage of Mitchell (A.), 545 S.W.2d 313.

(1977) If a party denies under oath that a marriage is irretrievably broken the court must find one of the statutory grounds has been met. Failure to prove any of these grounds must result in a refusal to dissolve the marriage. In re Marriage of Capstick (A.), 547 S.W.2d 522.

(1977) Held, parties had been living "separate and apart" even though they lived in the same home. In re Marriage of Uhls (A.), 549 S.W.2d 107.

(1977) Failure to mail notice does not deprive the court of jurisdiction. LeBeau v. LeBeau (A.), 556 S.W.2d 204.

(1977) Court erroneously applied the law by failing to hold a hearing on whether marriage is irretrievably broken, when absent party, after receiving notice of interlocutory finding, files an objection within ten days. Brown v. Brown (A.), 561 S.W.2d 374.

(1978) Court must make specific finding that marriage was irretrievably broken before granting a decree of dissolution, B.W. v. F.E.W. (A.), 562 S.W.2d 137.



Separation agreements authorized, effect of--orders for disposition of property, when--terms of agreement, how enforced.

452.325. 1. To promote the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties to a marriage attendant upon their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement containing provisions for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by either of them, and the custody, support and visitation of their children.

2. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation, the terms of the separation agreement, except terms providing for the custody, support, and visitation of children, are binding upon the court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the separation agreement is unconscionable.

3. If the court finds the separation agreement unconscionable, the court may request the parties to submit a revised separation agreement or the court may make orders for the disposition of property, support, and maintenance in accordance with the provisions of sections 452.330, 452.335 and 452.340.

4. If the court finds that the separation agreement is not unconscionable as to support, maintenance, and property:

(1) Unless the separation agreement provides to the contrary, its terms shall be set forth in the decree of dissolution or legal separation and the parties shall be ordered to perform them; or

(2) If the separation agreement provides that its terms shall not be set forth in the decree, only those terms concerning child support, custody and visitation shall be set forth in the decree, and the decree shall state that the court has found the remaining terms not unconscionable.

5. Terms of the agreement set forth in the decree are enforceable by all remedies available for the enforcement of a judgment, and the court may punish any party who willfully violates its decree to the same extent as is provided by law for contempt of the court in any other suit or proceeding cognizable by the court.

6. Except for terms concerning the support, custody or visitation of children, the decree may expressly preclude or limit modification of terms set forth in the decree if the separation agreement so provides.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 6)

Effective 1-1-74

(1979) Purpose of statute to put to rest questions of overreaching and fraud in the settlement of property questions, does not require the trial court to make evidentiary examinations of the economic circumstances only after it is found that the separation agreement is unconscionable. Block v. Block (A.), 593 S.W.2d 584.

(1987) This section allows but does not require court to investigate and examine the economic circumstances of the parties to the divorce and other relevant factors in determining conscionability of the settlement agreements. Dow v. Dow, 732 S.W.2d 906 (Mo.banc).

(1989) Amendment to statute which changes the age on which the obligation to pay child support terminates is a change in condition which authorizes a modification of the judgment where father did not agree to anything beyond that required by law. (Mo.App.W.D.) Kocherov v. Kocherov, 775 S.W.2d 539.



Disposition of property and debts, factors to be considered.

452.330. 1. In a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, or in a proceeding for disposition of property following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property, the court shall set apart to each spouse such spouse's nonmarital property and shall divide the marital property and marital debts in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors including:

(1) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children;

(2) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;

(3) The value of the nonmarital property set apart to each spouse;

(4) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and

(5) Custodial arrangements for minor children.

2. For purposes of sections 452.300 to 452.415 only, "marital property" means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage except:

(1) Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;

(2) Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;

(3) Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation;

(4) Property excluded by valid written agreement of the parties; and

(5) The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage or pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (4) of this subsection, unless marital assets including labor, have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of such contributions.

3. All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and prior to a decree of legal separation or dissolution of marriage is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in some form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, and community property. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property was acquired by a method listed in subsection 2 of this section.

4. Property which would otherwise be nonmarital property shall not become marital property solely because it may have become commingled with marital property.

5. The court's order as it affects distribution of marital property shall be a final order not subject to modification; provided, however, that orders intended to be qualified domestic relations orders affecting pension, profit sharing and stock bonus plans pursuant to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code shall be modifiable only for the purpose of establishing or maintaining the order as a qualified domestic relations order or to revise or conform its terms so as to effectuate the expressed intent of the* order.

6. A certified copy of any decree of court affecting title to real estate may be filed for record in the office of the recorder of deeds of the county and state in which the real estate is situated by the clerk of the court in which the decree was made.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 7, A.L. 1981 H.B. 96, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

*Word "the" omitted from original rolls.

(1975) Rights acquired under a contract to purchase land constitute "property" and "marital property" and are subject to division by the court in a dissolution of marriage. Claunch v. Claunch (A.), 525 S.W.2d 788.

(1975) Discussion of items constituting "marital property" and various awards allowable under this section. Nixon v. Nixon (A.), S.W.2d 835.

(1975) For extensive discussion of the law under this section, see In re Marriage of Powers (A.), 527 S.W.2d 949.

(1976) All property acquired subsequent to marriage taken in joint names is marital property subject to division upon dissolution unless (1) it is shown that such property was acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage, and (2) it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the transfer was not intended as a provision for a settlement upon or as a gift to the other spouse. Conrad v. Bowers (A.), 533 S.W.2d 614.

(1976) For the purposes of this division of marital property under this section, the "conduct" of the parties during the marriage is a relevant factor to be considered by the trial court and the award to the husband of all of the real estate determined to be marital property was not error. Conrad v. Bowers (A.), 533 S.W.2d 614.

(1976) Trial courts are vested with broad discretion in dividing marital property in dissolution of marriage proceedings. In re Marriage of Vanet (A.), 544 S.W.2d 236.

(1976) The word "conduct" means general conduct of the parties during the marriage and is not limited to conduct relating to financial misdeeds. Butcher v. Butcher (A.), 544 S.W.2d 249.

(1976) For discussion of division of marital property and definition of same see Davis v. Davis (A.), 544 S.W.2d 259.

(1977) While wife's misconduct was to be taken into account in dividing marital property, it had begun late in the nineteen year marriage and was not such as to deprive her of right to share equitably in marital property. Thus, in addition to shares in closely held corporation awarded by trial court, she would be awarded a farm acquired by parties during marriage. Marriage of Schulte (A.), 546 S.W.2d 41.

(1977) Requirement that court make a division of marital property in a dissolution action is mandatory and failure to comply results in no final judgment in the action. The fact that a final judgment has not been rendered bars an appeal under the provisions of 512.020, RSMo. Corder v. Corder (A.), 546 S.W.2d 798.

(1977) Property purchased with earnings during marriage is marital property regardless of how title is taken. Held error to set a future date for sale of property and allow a party a dollar value when sold. Inflation could seriously alter the value of the amount received so that proper judgment should have been for a percentage of the sale to be held in the future. Ortmann v. Ortmann (A.), 550 S.W.2d 226.

(1977) Held, failure of either party's petition to ask for division of property does not relieve trial judge from duty to make a division of the property. Hulsey v. Hulsey, (A.), 550 S.W.2d 902.

(1977) A husband may not voluntarily limit his work to reduce his income and escape support payments. A court may in proper circumstances impute an income to a husband according to what he could have earned by the use of his best efforts. Klinge v. Klinge (A.), 554 S.W.2d 474.

(1978) Statute does not require equal division of marital property, but only "just" division. This is true where one spouse has engaged in marital misconduct. Arp v. Arp (A.),572 S.W.2d 232.

(1978) Personal jurisdiction over an absent spouse is not necessary to confer jurisdiction for the purpose of dividing marital property. Chenoweth v. Chenoweth (A.), 575 S.W.2d 871.

(1984) "Source of funds" theory, adopted in this case, requires that the court determine the character of property by the source of funds financing the purchase, so that the property is considered to have been "acquired" as it is paid for. This theory allows for reimbursement for increase in value of the property. Hoffman v. Hoffman (Mo.banc), 676 S.W.2d 817.

(1985) Held, the "source of funds rule" as announced in Hoffman v. Hoffman, 676 S.W.2d 817 (Mo banc 1984) should be retrospectively applied. Sumners v. Sumners, (Mo.), 701 S.W.2d 720.

(1987) Goodwill in a professional practice is property subject to division pursuant to this section and is defined as the value of the practice which exceeds its tangible assets and which is the result of the tendency of clients/patients to return to and recommend the practice irrespective of the reputation of the individual practitioner. Hanson v. Hanson, 738 S.W.2d 429 (Mo.banc.).

(1987) Proper date for valuing marital property in a dissolution proceeding is the date of the trial. Taylor v. Taylor, 736 S.W.2d 388 (Mo.banc.).

(1987) It was proper for the court to consider, as an economic circumstance, in making a division of property, the sums voluntarily expended by husband for the support and education of a healthy adult child and to offset the wife's entitlement to husband's retirement pay by sums she received or would have received in maintenance. In Re Marriage of Dildy, 737 S.W.2d 756 (Mo.App.S.D.).

(1997) Statute does not allow the court to quash a QDRO and replace it with a domestic relations order that was not qualified. Offield v. Offield, 955 S.W.2d 247 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1999) Statute does not give a trial court discretion to divide and distribute marital property to the parties' children. Randolph v. Randolph, 8 S.W.3d 160 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(2003) Section is more specific concerning authorization for modifying qualified domestic relations order and thus prevails over more general statute precluding modification of marital property division. Ricketts v. Ricketts, 113 S.W.3d 255 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Maintenance order, findings required for--termination date, may be modified, when.

452.335. 1. In a proceeding for nonretroactive invalidity, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order to either spouse, but only if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

(1) Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him, to provide for his reasonable needs; and

(2) Is unable to support himself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.

2. The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, and after considering all relevant factors including:

(1) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;

(2) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;

(3) The comparative earning capacity of each spouse;

(4) The standard of living established during the marriage;

(5) The obligations and assets, including the marital property apportioned to him and the separate property of each party;

(6) The duration of the marriage;

(7) The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;

(8) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;

(9) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and

(10) Any other relevant factors.

3. The maintenance order shall state if it is modifiable or nonmodifiable. The court may order maintenance which includes a termination date. Unless the maintenance order which includes a termination date is nonmodifiable, the court may order the maintenance decreased, increased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified based upon a substantial and continuing change of circumstances which occurred prior to the termination date of the original order.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 8, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al.)

(1975) For extensive discussion of the law under this section, see In re Marriage of Powers (A.), 527 S.W.2d 949.

(1976) This section does not apply to modification of existing dissolution decree but only to original decree. Modifications are governed by 453.370. Sifers v. Sifers (A.), 544 S.W.2d 269.

(1976) For discussion of "abuse of discretion" and items to be considered in making property settlements, support and attorney's fee awards, see Beckman v. Beckman (A.), 545 S.W.2d 300.

(1977) Held, trial court erred in making a periodically decreasing or "stairstepped" award. Modifications must not be made on speculation. In re Marriage of Cornell (A.), 550 S.W.2d 823.

(1977) Appellate court held that under the circumstances wife, though guilty of misconduct, was entitled to greater proportion of marital property and a continuation, after dissolution of marriage, of maintenance of $375.00 a month awarded by trial court. Marriage of Schulte (A.), 546 S.W.2d 41.

(1977) Held, "reasonable needs" does not automatically equal the standard of living established during the marriage. There is an affirmative duty on the part of a spouse seeking dissolution to seek employment. Brueggemenn v. Brueggemann (A.), 551 S.W.2d 853.

(1977) Maintenance in gross may be awarded under this section. Miller v. Miller (A.), 553 S.W.2d 482.

(1977) Statute allowing award of maintenance in gross was not repealed by the dissolution of marriage statutes and 452.335 does not preclude award of maintenance in gross. Carr v. Carr (A.), 556 S.W.2d 511.



Child support, how allocated--factors to be considered--abatement or termination of support, when--support after age eighteen, when--public policy of state--payments may be made directly to child, when--child support guidelines, rebuttable presumption, use of guidelines, when--retroactivity--obligation terminated, how.

452.340. 1. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the support of the child, including an award retroactive to the date of filing the petition, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including:

(1) The financial needs and resources of the child;

(2) The financial resources and needs of the parents;

(3) The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;

(4) The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs;

(5) The child's physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements; and

(6) The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.

2. The obligation of the parent ordered to make support payments shall abate, in whole or in part, for such periods of time in excess of thirty consecutive days that the other parent has voluntarily relinquished physical custody of a child to the parent ordered to pay child support, notwithstanding any periods of visitation or temporary physical and legal or physical or legal custody pursuant to a judgment of dissolution or legal separation or any modification thereof. In a IV-D case, the family support division may determine the amount of the abatement pursuant to this subsection for any child support order and shall record the amount of abatement in the automated child support system record established pursuant to chapter 454, RSMo. If the case is not a IV-D case and upon court order, the circuit clerk shall record the amount of abatement in the automated child support system record established in chapter 454, RSMo.

3. Unless the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate otherwise and the court specifically so provides, the obligation of a parent to make child support payments shall terminate when the child:

(1) Dies;

(2) Marries;

(3) Enters active duty in the military;

(4) Becomes self-supporting, provided that the custodial parent has relinquished the child from parental control by express or implied consent;

(5) Reaches age eighteen, unless the provisions of subsection 4 or 5 of this section apply; or

(6) Reaches age twenty-one, unless the provisions of the child support order specifically extend the parental support order past the child's twenty-first birthday for reasons provided by subsection 4 of this section.

4. If the child is physically or mentally incapacitated from supporting himself and insolvent and unmarried, the court may extend the parental support obligation past the child's eighteenth birthday.

5. If when a child reaches age eighteen, the child is enrolled in and attending a secondary school program of instruction, the parental support obligation shall continue, if the child continues to attend and progresses toward completion of said program, until the child completes such program or reaches age twenty-one, whichever first occurs. If the child is enrolled in an institution of vocational or higher education not later than October first following graduation from a secondary school or completion of a graduation equivalence degree program and so long as the child enrolls for and completes at least twelve hours of credit each semester, not including the summer semester, at an institution of vocational or higher education and achieves grades sufficient to reenroll at such institution, the parental support obligation shall continue until the child completes his or her education, or until the child reaches the age of twenty-one, whichever first occurs. To remain eligible for such continued parental support, at the beginning of each semester the child shall submit to each parent a transcript or similar official document provided by the institution of vocational or higher education which includes the courses the child is enrolled in and has completed for each term, the grades and credits received for each such course, and an official document from the institution listing the courses which the child is enrolled in for the upcoming term and the number of credits for each such course. When enrolled in at least twelve credit hours, if the child receives failing grades in half or more of his or her courseload in any one semester, payment of child support may be terminated and shall not be eligible for reinstatement. Upon request for notification of the child's grades by the noncustodial parent, the child shall produce the required documents to the noncustodial parent within thirty days of receipt of grades from the education institution. If the child fails to produce the required documents, payment of child support may terminate without the accrual of any child support arrearage and shall not be eligible for reinstatement. If the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate, the court may waive the October first deadline for enrollment required by this subsection. If the child is enrolled in such an institution, the child or parent obligated to pay support may petition the court to amend the order to direct the obligated parent to make the payments directly to the child. As used in this section, an "institution of vocational education" means any postsecondary training or schooling for which the student is assessed a fee and attends classes regularly. "Higher education" means any community college, college, or university at which the child attends classes regularly. A child who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability, as defined in section 630.005, RSMo, or whose physical disability or diagnosed health problem limits the child's ability to carry the number of credit hours prescribed in this subsection, shall remain eligible for child support so long as such child is enrolled in and attending an institution of vocational or higher education, and the child continues to meet the other requirements of this subsection. A child who is employed at least fifteen hours per week during the semester may take as few as nine credit hours per semester and remain eligible for child support so long as all other requirements of this subsection are complied with.

6. The court shall consider ordering a parent to waive the right to claim the tax dependency exemption for a child enrolled in an institution of vocational or higher education in favor of the other parent if the application of state and federal tax laws and eligibility for financial aid will make an award of the exemption to the other parent appropriate.

7. The general assembly finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state that frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage is in the best interest of the child except for cases where the court specifically finds that such contact is not in the best interest of the child. In order to effectuate this public policy, a court with jurisdiction shall enforce visitation, custody and child support orders in the same manner. A court with jurisdiction may abate, in whole or in part, any past or future obligation of support and may transfer the physical and legal or physical or legal custody of one or more children if it finds that a parent has, without good cause, failed to provide visitation or physical and legal or physical or legal custody to the other parent pursuant to the terms of a judgment of dissolution, legal separation or modifications thereof. The court shall also award, if requested and for good cause shown, reasonable expenses, attorney's fees and court costs incurred by the prevailing party.

8. The Missouri supreme court shall have in effect a rule establishing guidelines by which any award of child support shall be made in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Said guidelines shall contain specific, descriptive and numeric criteria which will result in a computation of the support obligation. The guidelines shall address how the amount of child support shall be calculated when an award of joint physical custody results in the child or children spending substantially equal time with both parents. The Missouri supreme court shall publish child support guidelines and specifically list and explain the relevant factors and assumptions that were used to calculate the child support guidelines. Any rule made pursuant to this subsection shall be reviewed by the promulgating body not less than once every four years to ensure that its application results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts.

9. There shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines established pursuant to subsection 8 of this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. A written finding or specific finding on the record in a judicial or administrative proceeding that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, after considering all relevant factors, including the factors set out in subsection 1 of this section, is required if requested by a party and shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption in the case. The written finding or specific finding on the record shall detail the specific relevant factors that required a deviation from the application of the guidelines.

10. Pursuant to this or any other chapter, when a court determines the amount owed by a parent for support provided to a child by another person, other than a parent, prior to the date of filing of a petition requesting support, or when the director of the family support division establishes the amount of state debt due pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 454.465, RSMo, the court or director shall use the guidelines established pursuant to subsection 8 of this section. The amount of child support resulting from the application of the guidelines shall be applied retroactively for a period prior to the establishment of a support order and the length of the period of retroactivity shall be left to the discretion of the court or director. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount resulting from application of the guidelines under subsection 8 of this section constitutes the amount owed by the parent for the period prior to the date of the filing of the petition for support or the period for which state debt is being established. In applying the guidelines to determine a retroactive support amount, when information as to average monthly income is available, the court or director may use the average monthly income of the noncustodial parent, as averaged over the period of retroactivity, in determining the amount of presumed child support owed for the period of retroactivity. The court or director may enter a different amount in a particular case upon finding, after consideration of all relevant factors, including the factors set out in subsection 1 of this section, that there is sufficient cause to rebut the presumed amount.

11. The obligation of a parent to make child support payments may be terminated as follows:

(1) Provided that the child support order contains the child's date of birth, the obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the child reaches age twenty-one if the child support order does not specifically require payment of child support beyond age twenty-one for reasons provided by subsection 4 of this section;

(2) The obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the parent receiving child support furnishes a sworn statement or affidavit notifying the obligor parent of the child's emancipation in accordance with the requirements of subsection 4 of section 452.370, and a copy of such sworn statement or affidavit is filed with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the division of child support enforcement;

(3) The obligation shall be deemed terminated without further judicial or administrative process when the parent paying child support files a sworn statement or affidavit with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division, stating that the child is emancipated and reciting the factual basis for such statement; which statement or affidavit is served by the court or division on the child support obligee; and which is either acknowledged and affirmed by the child support obligee in writing, or which is not responded to in writing within thirty days of receipt by the child support obligee;

(4) The obligation shall be terminated as provided by this subdivision by the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division, when the parent paying child support files a sworn statement or affidavit with the court which entered the order establishing the child support obligation, or the family support division, stating that the child is emancipated and reciting the factual basis for such statement; and which statement or affidavit is served by the court or division on the child support obligee. If the obligee denies the statement or affidavit, the court or division shall thereupon treat the sworn statement or affidavit as a motion to modify the support obligation pursuant to section 452.370 or section 454.496, RSMo, and shall proceed to hear and adjudicate such motion as provided by law; provided that the court may require the payment of a deposit as security for court costs and any accrued court costs, as provided by law, in relation to such motion to modify.

12. The court may enter a judgment terminating child support pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (3) of subsection 11 of this section without necessity of a court appearance by either party. The clerk of the court shall mail a copy of a judgment terminating child support entered pursuant to subsection 11 of this section on both the obligor and obligee parents. The supreme court may promulgate uniform forms for sworn statements and affidavits to terminate orders of child support obligations for use pursuant to subsection 11 of this section and subsection 4 of section 452.370.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 9, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1989 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 2, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al. merged with S.B. 291, A.L. 2005 S.B. 420 & 344, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)

(1974) For discussion of child support criteria see Williams v. Williams (Mo.), 510 S.W.2d 452.

(1977) Held, trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding income tax exemption for children to father who did not have custody and was required to pay twenty dollars a week per child as child support. Roberts v. Roberts (A.), 553 S.W.2d 305.

(1977) An adopted child is a "child of the marriage" see 453.090 RSMo. D.L.C. v. L.C.C. (A.), 559 S.W.2d 623.

(1993) Parental child support obligation should not be terminated as a result of child's temporary inability to attend classes due to illness or physical disability when substantial evidence supports finding that interruption is temporary and that child intends to continue education. Braun v. Lied, 851 S.W.2d 93 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1993) Statute relating to parental support obligation does not require that child attend an institution of higher education on full-time basis. Age limitation protects parent from protracted college education. Harris v. Rattini, 855 S.W.2d 410 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(1993) Where child brought action against health care providers for injuries sustained during mother's pregnancy and child was not conceived at time of alleged negligent medical treatment, tort recovery was not barred by two-year statute of limitation. Exception to statute of limitations for children under age ten applied to action. Lough v. Rolla Women's Clinic, Inc., 866 S.W.2d 851 (Mo. en banc).

(1994) Cadet at West Point was considered emancipated for purposes of child support even though academy provided education. Cadet's life at West Point is largely controlled by the government, which also provides for the bulk of the cadet's material needs. Federal law establishes that a cadet is part of the regular Army. Porath v. McVey, 884 S.W.2d 692 (Mo.App.S.D.).

(1997) Per diem payments received from an employer can be included in gross income when calculating a parent's child support obligation. Buckner v. Jordan, 952 S.W.2d 710 (Mo.banc).

(1997) Home-study program for attaining high school diploma was not "secondary school program of instruction" absent a showing of seriousness and good faith efforts on child's part to complete his education. Russell v. Russell, 949 S.W.2d 87 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1999) Section requiring unmarried, divorced or legally separated parents to pay child support for college expenses does not violate equal protection clauses of federal and state constitutions. In re Marriage of Kohring, 999 S.W.2d 228 (Mo.banc).

(2000) Section requires child to receive credit for at least twelve hours to maintain eligibility to receive child support. Lombardo v. Lombardo, 35 S.W.3d 386 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(2004) Child's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was manifest circumstance preventing successful completion of twelve credit hour requirement and thus continuing child support obligation. Pickens v. Brown, 147 S.W.3d 89 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(2004) Death of custodial parent of college student in compliance with section does not terminate existing child support obligation. Kreutzer v. Kreutzer, 147 S.W.3d 173 (Mo.App.S.D.).



Obligor may request affidavit, when--cause of action for failure to execute, when--false affidavit, penalty.

452.341. 1. Any person obligated under a judgment or order of a court to make installment payments of child support or spousal support may request from the person entitled to such support payments an affidavit attesting to the fact that the obligor is current in such support payments and that there are, on the date that the request is made, no installment payments due and unpaid. Upon such request by an obligor, any person entitled to child support or spousal support shall execute an affidavit as required by this section.

2. No affidavit shall be required to be executed if any installment of the obligor's support obligation is due or unpaid on the date that the request is made. If, however, any obligor who is current in payment of support obligations makes a request for a statement of that fact under this section and the person entitled to such support payment refuses or fails to execute the affidavit required by this section within ten days of the request, the obligor shall have a cause of action against such person for any damages caused by such failure or refusal and may, in addition to such cause of action, petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the person entitled to the support obligation to execute the affidavit. Any person who executes a false affidavit under this section commits a class A misdemeanor as provided in section 575.050, RSMo.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479)



Summary of expenses paid on behalf of child, required when.

452.342. The court which issued a judgment or order of child support payments may, upon petition of the party obligated to make the payments and upon good cause shown, order the custodial parent to furnish the party having the support obligation with a regular summary of expenses paid by the custodial parent on behalf of the child. The court may prescribe the form and substance of the summary.

(L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al.)



All judgments and orders shall contain the parties' Social Security numbers.

452.343. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, every judgment or order issued in this state which, in whole or in part, affects child custody, child support, visitation, modification of custody, support or visitation, or is issued pursuant to section 454.470 or 454.475, RSMo, shall contain the last four digits of the Social Security number of the parties to the action which gives rise to such judgment or order. The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required by section 509.520, RSMo.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361 2, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Support obligations, bond or other guarantee to secure, when required, procedure--default, effect of.

452.344. 1. Upon entry of an order for support or division of property under this chapter or otherwise, or at any time the court finds any of the elements which constitute grounds for attachment under section 521.010, RSMo, the court, by its own motion or that of a party or assignee of a party, may require that the obligor provide sufficient security, bond or other guarantee to secure the obligation to make support payments or to secure the division of property, conditioned that the obligor will pay all support payments as they come due, together with interest thereon, and will abide the orders of the court with respect to division of property.

2. The bond shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the order for support or division of property is filed, and the bond may be entered into before the clerk, if the court or judge entering the order for support or division of property shall first approve of the security.

3. The court, upon default in the condition of the bond, shall enter judgment against the obligors on the bond, according to the circumstances of the case, including interest or damages, and may award execution thereon, or otherwise enforce such judgment, according to the rules and practice of the court.

(L. 1984 H.B. 1275)



Maintenance or support payments to circuit clerk or family support payment center, when--procedure--duties of parties--failure to pay, circuit clerk duties.

452.345. 1. As used in sections 452.345 to 452.350, the term "IV-D case" shall mean a case in which support rights have been assigned to the state of Missouri or where the division of child support enforcement is providing support enforcement services pursuant to section 454.400, RSMo.

2. At any time the court, upon its own motion, may, or upon the motion of either party shall, order that maintenance or support payments be made to the circuit clerk as trustee for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments. The circuit clerk shall remit such support payments to the person entitled to receive the payments within three working days of receipt by the circuit clerk. Circuit clerks shall deposit all receipts no later than the next working day after receipt. Payment by a nonguaranteed negotiable financial instrument occurs when the instrument has cleared the depository institution and has been credited to the trust account. Effective October 1, 1999, at any time the court may upon its own motion, or shall upon the motion of either party, order that support payments as required by section 454.530, RSMo, be made to the family support payment center established in section 454.530, RSMo, as trustee for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments. However, in no case shall the court order payments to be made to the payment center if the division of child support enforcement notifies the court that such payments shall not be made to the center. In such cases, payments shall be made to the clerk as trustee until the division notifies the court that payments shall be directed to the payment center. Further, with the agreement of the division, the court may order payments to be made to the payment center prior to October 1, 1999.

3. The circuit clerk shall maintain records in the automated child support system which list the amount of payments, the date when payments are required to be made, and the names and addresses of the parties affected by the order. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the division of child support enforcement from entering information in the records of the automated child support system, as provided for in chapter 454, RSMo.

4. The parties affected by the order shall inform the circuit clerk or the payment center established in section 454.530, RSMo, of any change of address or of other conditions that may affect the administration of the order.

5. For any case in which an order for support or maintenance was entered prior to January 1, 1994, which has not been modified subsequent to that date, except a IV-D case, if a party becomes delinquent in maintenance or support payments in an amount equal to one month's total support obligation, the provisions of this subsection shall apply. If the circuit clerk has been appointed trustee under subsection 2 of this section, or if the person entitled to receive the payments files with the clerk an affidavit stating the particulars of the obligor's noncompliance, the circuit clerk shall send by regular mail notice of the delinquency to the obligor. This notice shall advise the obligor of the delinquency, shall state the amount of the obligation, and shall advise that the obligor's income is subject to withholding for repayment of the delinquency and for payment of current support, as provided in section 452.350. For such cases, the circuit clerk shall, in addition to the notice to the obligor, send by regular mail a notice to the obligee. This notice shall state the amount of the delinquency and shall advise the obligee that income withholding, pursuant to section 452.350, is available for collection of support delinquencies and current support, and if the support order includes amounts for child support, that support enforcement services, pursuant to section 454.425, RSMo, are available through the Missouri division of child support enforcement of the department of social services.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 10, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1997 S.B. 248 merged with S.B. 361, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99

(1976) Proceeding to cite defendant for contempt for failure to pay court ordered support and maintenance for plaintiff and their minor children classified as civil contempt and subject to review on appeal. Judgment, with sentence of imprisonment, reversed and remanded since there was no evidence from which trial court could have concluded that defendant was financially able to pay the award. Teefey v. Teefey (Mo.), 533 S.W.2d 563.

(1976) Held that imprisonment for contempt is proper remedy for failure to comply with court order for maintenance and child support when person disobeying order has intentionally placed himself in a position which made compliance impossible. State ex rel. Stanhope v. Pratt overruling Coughlin v. Ehlert, 39 Mo. 285 (1866). State ex rel. Stanhope v. Pratt (Mo.), 533 S.W.2d 567.

(1976) Court may not amend an alimony payment order of its own motion. Dolan v. Dolan (A.), 540 S.W.2d 220.



Medical assistance documentation provided, when.

452.346. Upon written request of a parent of a child, as defined in section 452.302, who is receiving medical assistance pursuant to section 208.151, RSMo, the division of family services shall provide such parent with documentation that allows the child to obtain medical assistance. This section shall not apply to parents of children in the custody of a public agency.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 6)



Notice of a child support establishment or modification proceeding, when--copy of the order provided, when.

452.347. In any proceeding before a court where child support may be established or modified for an applicant or recipient of child support services pursuant to chapter 454:

(1) The applicant or recipient of child support enforcement services shall be provided by any other party with notice pursuant to Rule 41 of the Missouri rules of civil procedures of all proceedings in which support obligations may be established or modified. Notice to an attorney representing a party is deemed notice on the party for purposes of this section; and

(2) A copy of any order establishing or modifying a child support obligation, or an order denying a modification shall be mailed to the division of child support enforcement by the court within fourteen days of issuance of such order.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Withholding of income, voluntary or court may order, when, when effective--hearing, when--employer, duties, liabilities, fee--discharge or discipline of employee because of a withholding notice prohibited, penalty--civil contempt proceeding authorized--amendment, termination and priorities of withholdings.

452.350. 1. Until January 1, 1994, except for orders entered or modified in IV-D cases, each order for child support or maintenance entered or modified by the court pursuant to the authority of this chapter, or otherwise, shall include a provision notifying the person obligated to pay such support or maintenance that, upon application by the obligee or the Missouri division of child support enforcement of the department of social services, the obligor's wages or other income shall be subject to withholding without further notice if the obligor becomes delinquent in maintenance or child support payments in an amount equal to one month's total support obligation. The order shall also contain provisions notifying the obligor that:

(1) The withholding shall be for the current month's maintenance and support; and

(2) The withholding shall include an additional amount equal to fifty percent of one month's child support and maintenance to defray delinquent child support and maintenance, which additional withholding shall continue until the delinquency is paid in full.

2. For all orders entered or modified in IV-D cases, and effective January 1, 1994, for every order for child support or maintenance entered or modified by the court pursuant to the authority of this chapter, or otherwise, income withholding pursuant to this section shall be initiated on the effective date of the order, except that such withholding shall not commence with the effective date of the order in any case where:

(1) One of the parties demonstrates, and the court finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding. For purposes of this subdivision, any finding that there is good cause not to require immediate withholding must be based on, at least, a written determination and an explanation by the court that implementing immediate wage withholding would not be in the best interests of the child and proof of timely payments of previously ordered support in cases involving the modification of support orders; or

(2) A written agreement is reached between the parties that provides for an alternative arrangement.

If the income of an obligor is not withheld as of the effective date of the support order, pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, or otherwise, such obligor's income shall become subject to withholding pursuant to this section without further exception on the date on which the obligor becomes delinquent in maintenance or child support payments in an amount equal to one month's total support obligation. Such withholding shall be initiated in the manner provided in subsection 4 of this section. All IV-D orders entered or modified by the court shall contain a provision notifying the obligor that he or she shall notify the division of child support enforcement regarding the availability of medical insurance coverage through an employer or a group plan, provide the name of the insurance provider when coverage is available, and inform the division of any change in access to such insurance coverage. Any income withheld pursuant to this section for a support order initially entered on or after October 1, 1999, shall be paid to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530, RSMo. Any order of the court entered on or after October 1, 1999, establishing the withholding for a support order as defined in section 454.460, RSMo, or notice from the clerk issued on or after October 1, 1999, pursuant to this section for a support order shall require payment to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530, RSMo.

3. The provisions of section 432.030, RSMo, to the contrary notwithstanding, if income withholding has not been initiated on the effective date of the initial or modified order, the obligated party may execute a voluntary income assignment at any time, which assignment shall be filed with the court and shall take effect after service on the employer or other payor.

4. The circuit clerk, upon application of the obligee or the division of child support enforcement, shall send, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a written notice to the employer or other payor listed on the application when the obligated party is subject to withholding pursuant to the child support order or subsection 2 of this section. For orders entered or modified in cases known by the circuit clerk to be IV-D cases in which income withholding is to be initiated on the effective date of the order, and effective January 1, 1994, for all orders entered or modified by the court in which income withholding is to be initiated on the effective date of the order, the circuit clerk shall send such notice to the employer or other payor in the manner provided by this section at the time the order is entered without application of any party when an employer or other payor is identified to the circuit clerk by inclusion in the pleadings pursuant to section 452.312, or otherwise. The notice of income withholding shall be prepared by the person entitled to support pursuant to the order, or the legal representative of that person, on a form prescribed by the court, and shall be presented to the clerk of the court at the time the order of support is entered. The notice shall direct the employer or other payor to withhold each month an amount equal to one month's child support and maintenance until further notice from the court. In the event of a delinquency in child support or maintenance payments in an amount equal to one month's total support obligation, the notice further shall direct the employer or other payor to withhold each month an additional amount equal to fifty percent of one month's child support and maintenance until the support delinquency is paid in full. The notice shall also include a statement of exemptions which may apply to limit the portion of the obligated party's disposable earnings which are subject to the withholding pursuant to federal or state law and notify the obligor that the obligor may request a hearing and related information pursuant to this section. The notice shall contain the Social Security number of the obligor if available. The circuit clerk shall send a copy of this notice by regular mail to the last known address of the obligated party. A notice issued pursuant to this section shall be binding on the employer or other payor, and successor employers and payors, two weeks after mailing, and shall continue until further order of the court or the division of child support enforcement. If the notice does not contain the Social Security number of the obligor, the employer or other payor shall not be liable for withholding from the incorrect obligor. The obligated party may, within that two-week period, request a hearing on the issue of whether the withholding should take effect. The withholding shall not be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the hearing. The obligor may not obtain relief from the withholding by paying overdue support, if any. The only basis for contesting the withholding is a mistake of fact. For the purpose of this section, "mistake of fact" shall mean an error in the amount of arrearages, if applicable, or an error as to the identity of the obligor. The court shall hold its hearing, enter its order disposing of all issues disputed by the obligated party, and notify the obligated party and the employer or other payor, within forty-five days of the date on which the withholding notice was sent to the employer.

5. For each payment the employer may charge a fee not to exceed six dollars per month, which shall be deducted from each obligor's moneys, income or periodic earnings, in addition to the amount deducted to meet the support or maintenance obligation subject to the limitations contained in the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673).

6. Upon termination of the obligor's employment with an employer upon whom a withholding notice has been served, the employer shall so notify the court in writing. The employer shall also inform the court, in writing, as to the last known address of the obligor and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

7. Amounts withheld by the employer or other payor shall be transmitted, in accordance with the notice, within seven business days of the date that such amounts were payable to the obligated party. For purposes of this section, "business day" means a day that state offices are open for regular business. The employer or other payor shall, along with the amounts transmitted, provide the date each amount was withheld from each obligor. If the employer or other payor is withholding amounts for more than one order, the employer or other payor may combine all such withholdings that are payable to the same circuit clerk or the family support payment center and transmit them as one payment, together with a separate list identifying the cases to which they apply. The cases shall be identified by court case number, name of obligor, the obligor's Social Security number, the IV-D case number, if any, the amount withheld for each obligor, and the withholding date or dates for each obligor, to the extent that such information is known to the employer or other payor. An employer or other payor who fails to honor a withholding notice pursuant to this section may be held in contempt of court and is liable to the obligee for the amount that should have been withheld. Compliance by an employer or other payor with the withholding notice operates as a discharge of liability to the obligor as to that portion of the obligor's periodic earnings or other income so affected.

8. As used in this section, the term "employer" includes the state and its political subdivisions.

9. An employer shall not discharge or otherwise discipline, or refuse to hire, an employee as a result of a withholding notice issued pursuant to this section. Any obligor who is aggrieved as a result of a violation of this subsection may bring a civil contempt proceeding against the employer by filing an appropriate motion in the cause of action from which the withholding notice issued. If the court finds that the employer discharged, disciplined, or refused to hire the obligor as a result of the withholding notice, the court may order the employer to reinstate or hire the obligor, or rescind any wrongful disciplinary action. If, after the entry of such an order, the employer refuses without good cause to comply with the court's order, or if the employer fails to comply with the withholding notice, the court may, after notice to the employer and a hearing, impose a fine against the employer, not to exceed five hundred dollars. Proceeds of any such fine shall be distributed by the court to the county general revenue fund.

10. A withholding entered pursuant to this section may, upon motion of a party and for good cause shown, be amended by the court. The clerk shall notify the employer of the amendment in the manner provided for in subsection 4 of this section.

11. The court, upon the motion of obligor and for good cause shown, may terminate the withholding, except that the withholding shall not be terminated for the sole reason that the obligor has fully paid past due child support and maintenance.

12. A withholding effected pursuant to this section shall have priority over any other legal process pursuant to state law against the same wages, except that where the other legal process is an order issued pursuant to this section or section 454.505, RSMo, the processes shall run concurrently, up to applicable wage withholding limitations. If concurrently running wage withholding processes for the collection of support obligations would cause the amounts withheld from the wages of the obligor to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations and includes a wage withholding from another state pursuant to section 454.932, RSMo, the employer shall first satisfy current support obligations by dividing the amount available to be withheld among the orders on a pro rata basis using the percentages derived from the relationship each current support order amount has to the sum of all current child support obligations. Thereafter, delinquencies shall be satisfied using the same pro rata distribution procedure used for distributing current support, up to the applicable limitation. If concurrently running wage withholding processes for the collection of support obligations would cause the amounts withheld from the wages of the obligor to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations and does not include a wage withholding from another state pursuant to section 454.932, RSMo, the employer shall withhold and pay to the payment center an amount equal to the wage withholding limitations. The payment center shall first satisfy current support obligations by dividing the amount available to be withheld among the orders on a pro rata basis using the percentages derived from the relationship each current support order amount has to the sum of all current child support obligations. Thereafter, arrearages shall be satisfied using the same pro rata distribution procedure used for distributing current support, up to the applicable limitation.

13. The remedy provided by this section applies to child support and maintenance orders entered prior to August 13, 1986, notwithstanding the absence of the notice to the obligor provided for in subsection 1 of this section, provided that prior notice from the circuit clerk to the obligor in the manner prescribed in subsection 5 of section 452.345 is given.

14. Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary, in a case in which support rights have been assigned to the state or in which the division of child support enforcement is providing support enforcement services pursuant to section 454.425, RSMo, the director of the division of child support enforcement may amend or terminate a withholding order issued pursuant to this section, as provided in this subsection without further action of the court. The director may amend or terminate a withholding order and issue an administrative withholding order pursuant to section 454.505, RSMo, when the director determines that children for whom the support order applies are no longer entitled to support pursuant to section 452.340, when the support obligation otherwise ends and all arrearages are paid, when the support obligation is modified pursuant to section 454.500, RSMo, or when the director enters an order that is approved by the court pursuant to section 454.496, RSMo. The director shall notify the employer and the circuit clerk of such amendment or termination. The director's administrative withholding order or withholding termination order shall preempt and supersede any previous judicial withholding order issued pursuant to this or any other section.

15. For the purpose of this section, "income" means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation benefits, disability benefits, payments pursuant to a pension or a retirement program and interest.

16. If the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services promulgates a final standard format for an employer income withholding notice, the court shall use or require the use of such notice.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 11, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99

(1980) Statute providing specifically for assignment of future wages upon order of court for purposes of enforcing order for maintenance created an exception to 432.030 prohibiting the assignment of future wages. Brinley v. Karnes (A.), 595 W.W.2d 465.



Modification of child support, attorney fees awarded to state, when.

452.354. In all proceedings for the modification of child support where the state is a party, the court may, upon motion, award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481 1)



Allocation of cost of action and attorney fees by court--actions for failure to pay child support, reasonable costs and attorney fees to be paid by obligor, when--definitions.

452.355. 1. Unless otherwise indicated, the court from time to time after considering all relevant factors including the financial resources of both parties, the merits of the case and the actions of the parties during the pendency of the action, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding pursuant to sections 452.300 to 452.415 and for attorney's fees, including sums for legal services rendered and costs incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding and after entry of a final judgment. The court may order that the amount be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's name.

2. In any proceeding in which the failure to pay child support pursuant to a temporary order or final judgment is an issue, if the court finds that the obligor has failed, without good cause, to comply with such order or decree to pay the child support, the court shall order the obligor, if requested and for good cause shown, to pay a reasonable amount for the cost of the suit to the obligee, including reasonable sums for legal services. The court may order that the amount be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in his name.

3. For purposes of this section, an "obligor" is a person owing a duty of support and an "obligee" is a person to whom a duty of support is owed.

4. For purposes of this section, "good cause" includes any substantial reason why the obligor is unable to pay the child support as ordered. Good cause does not exist if the obligor purposely maintains his inability to pay.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 12, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

(1977) Prospective termination of spousal maintenance without evidence of change in circumstances is abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Valleroy (A.), 548 S.W.2d 857.



Judgment of dissolution or legal separation final when entered--appeal, effect of--distribution of property final--conversion of judgment of legal separation to dissolution, when--notice, to whom.

452.360. 1. A judgment of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation is final when entered, subject to the right of appeal. An appeal from a judgment of dissolution that does not challenge the finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken does not delay the finality of that provision of the judgment which dissolves the marriage beyond the time for appealing from that provision, so that either of the parties may remarry pending appeal.

2. The court's judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation as it affects distribution of marital property shall be a final judgment not subject to modification.

3. No earlier than ninety days after entry of a judgment of legal separation, on motion of either party, the court may convert the judgment of legal separation to a judgment of dissolution of marriage.

4. On motion of both parties, the court shall set aside a judgment of legal separation.

5. The circuit clerk shall give notice of the entry of a judgment of legal separation or dissolution to the department of social services.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 13, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

(1976) Held that court rule 75.01 is not affected by this section and insofar as an appeal is concerned the judgment does not become final until thirty days after its entry absent the timely filing of a motion for new trial. State ex rel. Nilges v. Rush (A.), 532 S.W.2d 857.

(1978) Distinction between separate maintenance and legal separation; held separate maintenance decree cannot be converted into a decree of dissolution as a decree of legal separation can. In re Marriage of E. A. W. (A.), 573 S.W.2d 689.

(1987) Converting a decree of separation into a decree of dissolution is a new and separate cause of action, so full notice must be given to adverse parties. Madsen v. Madsen, 731 S.W.2d 324 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(1987) Unappealed partial decree was final although not subject to appeal and issues unresolved in decree were not abated by death of ex-husband. Fischer v. Seibel, 733 S.W.2d 469 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Party failing to comply with decree, effect of.

452.365. If a party fails to comply with a provision of a decree or temporary order or injunction, the obligation of the other party to make payments for support or maintenance or to permit visitation is not suspended but he may move the court to grant an appropriate order.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 14)

Effective 1-1-74



Modification of judgment as to maintenance or support, when--termination, when--rights of state when an assignment of support has been made--court to have continuing jurisdiction, duties of clerk, clerk to be "appropriate agent", when--severance of responsive pleading.

452.370. 1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6 of section 452.325, the provisions of any judgment respecting maintenance or support may be modified only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable. In a proceeding for modification of any child support or maintenance judgment, the court, in determining whether or not a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, shall consider all financial resources of both parties, including the extent to which the reasonable expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a spouse or other person with whom he or she cohabits, and the earning capacity of a party who is not employed. If the application of the child support guidelines and criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules to the financial circumstances of the parties would result in a change of child support from the existing amount by twenty percent or more, a prima facie showing has been made of a change of circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the present terms unreasonable, if the existing amount was based upon the presumed amount pursuant to the child support guidelines.

2. When the party seeking modification has met the burden of proof set forth in subsection 1 of this section, the child support shall be determined in conformity with criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules.

3. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, the obligation to pay future statutory maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.

4. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, provisions for the support of a child are terminated by emancipation of the child. The parent entitled to receive child support shall have the duty to notify the parent obligated to pay support of the child's emancipation and failing to do so, the parent entitled to receive child support shall be liable to the parent obligated to pay support for child support paid following emancipation of a minor child, plus interest.

5. If a parent has made an assignment of support rights to the division of family services on behalf of the state as a condition of eligibility for benefits pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and either party initiates a motion to modify the support obligation by reducing it, the state of Missouri shall be named as a party to the proceeding. The state shall be served with a copy of the motion by sending it by certified mail to the director of the division of child support enforcement.

6. The court shall have continuing personal jurisdiction over both the obligee and the obligor of a court order for child support or maintenance for the purpose of modifying such order. Both obligee and obligor shall notify, in writing, the clerk of the court in which the support or maintenance order was entered of any change of mailing address. If personal service of the motion cannot be had in this state, the motion to modify and notice of hearing shall be served outside the state as provided by supreme court rule 54.14. The order may be modified only as to support or maintenance installments which accrued subsequent to the date of personal service. For the purpose of 42 U.S.C. 666(a)(9)(C), the circuit clerk shall be considered the "appropriate agent" to receive notice of the motion to modify for the obligee or the obligor, but only in those instances in which personal service could not be had in this state.

7. If a responsive pleading raising the issues of custody or visitation is filed in response to a motion to modify child support filed at the request of the division of child support enforcement by a prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney or an attorney under contract with the division, such responsive pleading shall be severed upon request.

8. Notwithstanding any provision of this section which requires a showing of substantial and continuing change in circumstances, in a IV-D case filed pursuant to this section by the division of child support enforcement as provided in section 454.400, RSMo, the court shall modify a support order in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01 and any regulations thereunder if the amount in the current order differs from the amount which would be ordered in accordance with such guidelines or regulations.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 15, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

CROSS REFERENCES:

Court may abate past or future support obligation if custodial parent, without good cause, fails to honor visitation order, RSMo 452.340

Emancipation of child, factors determining, RSMo 452.340

(1976) Evidence that former husband had suffered, at most, eight percent reduction in pay since time of divorce, that he had been on strike for six weeks, and that he had suffered loss of income as result of medical and dental care held insufficient to show changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make terms of alimony decree unreasonable. Ward v. Ward (A.), 534 S.W.2d 593.

(1976) Receipt of inheritance by wife held not to constitute such a change in circumstances as would justify modification of alimony decree ($65,900.00) increase in net worth. Seelig v. Seelig (A.), 540 S.W.2d 142.

(1977) Held that increase of father's income from twenty thousand dollars a year to fifty-one thousand dollars a year justified increasing child support from one hundred dollars a month to four hundred fifty dollars a month. Barnhill v. Barnhill (A.), 547 S.W.2d 858.

(1977) Court seems to say that income of "new" wife is to be considered as part of father and former husband's "means" in determining amount of award for attorney's fees and impliedly in computing ability to pay child support. In re Marriage of Engelhardt (A.), 552 S.W.2d 356.

(1978) Reduction of monthly child support by $140, and not $200, was authorized, where only changed circumstances following marriage dissolution was ex-husband's $140 reduced monthly income. Nagel v. Nagel (A.), 561 S.W.2d 693.

(1978) Held, finding that wife, unemployed at time of divorce, but who now earned salary of $654 a month, was substantial enough circumstances to make terms of original decree awarding alimony unreasonable. Stahlhut v. Stahlhut (A.), 562 S.W.2d 764.

(1978) Held, that although facts that needs of growing children increase, and increase in income of supporting spouse would support a modification of decree, it must be shown that their effect make the decree unreasonable. Plattner v. Plattner (A.), 567 S.W.2d 139.

(1981) Common law rule that parent's obligation for child support terminates on death of parent was not modified by enactment of statute governing termination of support by emancipation of child. Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.

(1981) Purpose of statute governing termination of child support is to make it absolute that, absent express provisions to contrary in divorce decree or separation agreement, obligation ends upon emancipation and does not automatically continue to age 21. Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.

(1985) The phrase "future statutory maintenance" is held to limit termination by reason of remarriage to periodic maintenance of indefinite duration subject to modification upon change of circumstances, as well as those cases in which the parties have otherwise agreed. An award of monthly payments to be used only to pay off a marital debt cannot be considered "statutory maintenance". Lietz v. Moore (A.), 703 S.W.2d 54.

(1986) An award of maintenance in gross payable in installments rendered under this section is distinct from any award rendered under section 452.080, RSMo, and therefore may terminate with the death or remarriage of the spouse to whom the award is made. Nelson v. Nelson, 720 S.W.2d 947 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1987) Custodial parent who petitioned for modification of child support less than two years after original dissolution decree was not entitled increase in child support on the basis that, in general, children are more expensive when they are older but must present specific evidence of the increased needs of the children for which increased child support is sought. Farris v. Farris, 733 S.W.2d 819 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1987) Dissolution decree may expressly provide that ex-husband's obligation to provide maintenance in the form of life insurance is not terminated upon his death pursuant to subsection 2 of this section. McAvinew v. McAvinew, 733 S.W.2d 816 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Declining jurisdiction in a modification proceeding, when.

452.371. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1 of section 452.455, RSMo, or subsection 6 of section 452.370, RSMo, to the contrary, the court with jurisdiction may decline to exercise jurisdiction in any modification proceeding if such court finds that exercise of its jurisdiction would be clearly inconvenient to either party to the proceeding. The court shall consider the following factors in determining whether exercise of its jurisdiction would be clearly inconvenient:

(1) Place of residence of the parties;

(2) Location of witnesses; and

(3) The availability to either party of another more convenient court with jurisdiction.

2. A finding that a court is a clearly inconvenient forum pursuant to subsection 1 of this section may be made on the court's own motion or on the motion of either party to the proceeding.

3. If the court finds that it is an inconvenient forum and a court of another county is a more appropriate forum, and such court will accept jurisdiction of the case, the original court shall order a change of venue to the more appropriate forum and state the reasons for such change. The clerk shall transmit the original papers with a transcript of all docket entries to the clerk of the court to which the removal is ordered or the court may order the clerk to prepare a full transcript of the record and proceeding in the case, and transmit the same, duly certified with all the original papers in the civil action but not forming part of the record to the clerk of the court to which the removal is ordered.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361 4)

Effective 7-1-97



Mandatory educational sessions, when--alternative dispute resolution, when.

452.372. 1. When a person files a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation and the custody or visitation of a minor child is involved, the court shall order all parties to the action to attend educational sessions pursuant to section 452.605. Parties to a modification proceeding who previously have attended educational sessions pursuant to section 452.605 may also be required to attend such educational sessions.

2. In cases involving custody or visitation issues, the court may, except for good cause shown or as provided in subsection 3 of this section, order the parties to the action to participate in an alternative dispute resolution program pursuant to supreme court rule to resolve any issues in dispute or may set a hearing on the matter. As used in this section, "good cause" includes, but is not limited to, uncontested custody or temporary physical custody cases, or a finding of domestic violence or abuse as determined by a court with jurisdiction after all parties have received notice and an opportunity to be heard, but does not mean the absence of qualified mediators.

3. Any alternative dispute resolution program ordered by the court pursuant to this section may be paid for by the parties in a proportion to be determined by the court, the cost of which shall be reasonable and customary for the circuit in which the program is ordered, and shall:

(1) Not be binding on the parties;

(2) Not be ordered or used for contempt proceedings;

(3) Not be ordered or utilized for child support issues; and

(4) Not be used to modify a prior order of the court, except by agreement of the parties.

4. Within one hundred twenty days after August 28, 1998, the Missouri supreme court shall have a rule in effect allowing, but not requiring, each circuit to establish an alternative dispute resolution program for proceedings involving issues of custody and temporary physical custody relating to the child.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Custody--definitions--factors determining custody--prohibited, when--public policy of state--custody options plan, when required--findings required, when--exchange of information and right to certain records, failure to disclose--fees, costs assessed, when--joint custody not to preclude child support--support, how determined--domestic violence or abuse, specific findings.

452.375. 1. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) "Custody" means joint legal custody, sole legal custody, joint physical custody or sole physical custody or any combination thereof;

(2) "Joint legal custody" means that the parents share the decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education and welfare of the child, and, unless allocated, apportioned, or decreed, the parents shall confer with one another in the exercise of decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority;

(3) "Joint physical custody" means an order awarding each of the parents significant, but not necessarily equal, periods of time during which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of each of the parents. Joint physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents;

(4) "Third-party custody" means a third party designated as a legal and physical custodian pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection 5 of this section.

2. The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors including:

(1) The wishes of the child's parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;

(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;

(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;

(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;

(5) The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;

(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved. If the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence has occurred, and, if the court also finds that awarding custody to the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child, then the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Custody and visitation rights shall be ordered in a manner that best protects the child and any other child or children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights, and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm;

(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and

(8) The wishes of a child as to the child's custodian.

The fact that a parent sends his or her child or children to a home school, as defined in section 167.031, RSMo, shall not be the sole factor that a court considers in determining custody of such child or children.

3. (1) In any court proceedings relating to custody of a child, the court shall not award custody or unsupervised visitation of a child to a parent if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

(a) A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.040, 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.070, 566.083, 566.090, 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.212, or 566.215, RSMo;

(b) A violation of section 568.020, RSMo;

(c) A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060, RSMo;

(d) A violation of section 568.065, RSMo;

(e) A violation of section 568.080, RSMo;

(f) A violation of section 568.090, RSMo; or

(g) A violation of section 568.175, RSMo.

(2) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568, RSMo, not specifically listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568, RSMo, if committed in Missouri, the court may exercise its discretion in awarding custody or visitation of a child to a parent if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

4. The general assembly finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state that frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage is in the best interest of the child, except for cases where the court specifically finds that such contact is not in the best interest of the child, and that it is the public policy of this state to encourage parents to participate in decisions affecting the health, education and welfare of their children, and to resolve disputes involving their children amicably through alternative dispute resolution. In order to effectuate these policies, the court shall determine the custody arrangement which will best assure both parents participate in such decisions and have frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with their children so long as it is in the best interests of the child.

5. Prior to awarding the appropriate custody arrangement in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider each of the following as follows:

(1) Joint physical and joint legal custody to both parents, which shall not be denied solely for the reason that one parent opposes a joint physical and joint legal custody award. The residence of one of the parents shall be designated as the address of the child for mailing and educational purposes;

(2) Joint physical custody with one party granted sole legal custody. The residence of one of the parents shall be designated as the address of the child for mailing and educational purposes;

(3) Joint legal custody with one party granted sole physical custody;

(4) Sole custody to either parent; or

(5) Third-party custody or visitation:

(a) When the court finds that each parent is unfit, unsuitable, or unable to be a custodian, or the welfare of the child requires, and it is in the best interests of the child, then custody, temporary custody or visitation may be awarded to any other person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child. Before the court awards custody, temporary custody or visitation to a third person under this subdivision, the court shall make that person a party to the action;

(b) Under the provisions of this subsection, any person may petition the court to intervene as a party in interest at any time as provided by supreme court rule.

6. If the parties have not agreed to a custodial arrangement, or the court determines such arrangement is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall include a written finding in the judgment or order based on the public policy in subsection 4 of this section and each of the factors listed in subdivisions (1) to (8) of subsection 2 of this section detailing the specific relevant factors that made a particular arrangement in the best interest of the child. If a proposed custodial arrangement is rejected by the court, the court shall include a written finding in the judgment or order detailing the specific relevant factors resulting in the rejection of such arrangement.

7. Upon a finding by the court that either parent has refused to exchange information with the other parent, which shall include but not be limited to information concerning the health, education and welfare of the child, the court shall order the parent to comply immediately and to pay the prevailing party a sum equal to the prevailing party's cost associated with obtaining the requested information, which shall include but not be limited to reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

8. As between the parents of a child, no preference may be given to either parent in the awarding of custody because of that parent's age, sex, or financial status, nor because of the age or sex of the child.

9. Any judgment providing for custody shall include a specific written parenting plan setting forth the terms of such parenting plan arrangements specified in subsection 7 of section 452.310. Such plan may be a parenting plan submitted by the parties pursuant to section 452.310 or, in the absence thereof, a plan determined by the court, but in all cases, the custody plan approved and ordered by the court shall be in the court's discretion and shall be in the best interest of the child.

10. Unless a parent has been denied custody rights pursuant to this section or visitation rights under section 452.400, both parents shall have access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and school records. If the parent without custody has been granted restricted or supervised visitation because the court has found that the parent with custody or any child has been the victim of domestic violence, as defined in section 455.200, RSMo, by the parent without custody, the court may order that the reports and records made available pursuant to this subsection not include the address of the parent with custody or the child. Unless a parent has been denied custody rights pursuant to this section or visitation rights under section 452.400, any judgment of dissolution or other applicable court order shall specifically allow both parents access to such records and reports.

11. Except as otherwise precluded by state or federal law, if any individual, professional, public or private institution or organization denies access or fails to provide or disclose any and all records and information, including, but not limited to, past and present dental, medical and school records pertaining to a minor child, to either parent upon the written request of such parent, the court shall, upon its finding that the individual, professional, public or private institution or organization denied such request without good cause, order that party to comply immediately with such request and to pay to the prevailing party all costs incurred, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees and court costs associated with obtaining the requested information.

12. An award of joint custody does not preclude an award of child support pursuant to section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. The court shall consider the factors contained in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules in determining an amount reasonable or necessary for the support of the child.

13. If the court finds that domestic violence or abuse, as defined in sections 455.010 and 455.501, RSMo, has occurred, the court shall make specific findings of fact to show that the custody or visitation arrangement ordered by the court best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence or abuse, as defined in sections 455.010 and 455.501, RSMo, and any other children for whom such parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 16, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1983 S.B. 94, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1513 subsecs. 1 to 5, 7, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1989 H.B. 422, A.L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al., A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453, A.L. 2005 H.B. 568)

(1976) The desirability of awarding custody of children of tender years, especially girls, to their mother should not be indulged in to the extent of excluding all other relevant matters. R.G.T. v. Y.G.T. (A.), 543 S.W.2d 330.

(1976) This section does not change the ruling case law that general custody of a child must be awarded to one parent or the other unless they are both unfit. Decree awarding joint custody held void. Cradic v. Cradic (A.), 544 S.W.2d 605.

(1976) Child support portion of decree ordering husband to "maintain and provide for the necessities for the two children born of this marriage" held to be indefinite and void. Since it is a judgment for money, decree must specify with certainty the amount for which it is rendered. Cradic v. Cradic (A.), 544 S.W.2d 605.

(1977) Held, giving father temporary custody of children five times a year was abuse of discretion when children lived in Maine and father in Missouri. Taylor v. Taylor (A.), 548 S.W.2d 866.

(1985) Held that this section does not require agreement between the parties as a prerequisite of joint custody. The court may order joint custody over the objection of a parent. Goldberg v. Goldberg (A.), 691 S.W.2d 312.

(1987) Husband was properly awarded the house and custody of the children and wife's visitation rights were properly limited in view of wife's decision to openly practice homosexuality and court was not in error for amending judgment of decree ten days after it had been entered into the record taking the home, custody of the children, maintenance and support away from wife after husband discovered his wife's homosexual relations. S.E.G. v. R.A.G., 735 S.W.2d 164 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(2003) Provision prohibiting sole consideration of home schooling in custody determination applies to issue of whether such a factor constitutes a change in circumstances warranting modification. Heslop v. Sanderson, 123 S.W.3d 214 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Noncustodial parent's right to receive child's school progress reports--administrative fees to be set by school, when--exclusion of address of custodial parent, when.

452.376. 1. Unless a noncustodial parent has been denied visitation rights under section 452.400, such noncustodial parent or any parent who has joint custody of a child shall, upon request and payment of an administrative fee sufficient to cover the cost, receive any deficiency slips, report cards or pertinent progress reports regarding that child's progress in school. If a noncustodial parent has been granted restricted or supervised visitation because the court has found that the custodial parent or the child has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse, as defined in sections 455.010 and 455.501, RSMo, by the noncustodial parent, the court may order that the reports and records made available pursuant to this subsection not include the address of the custodial parent or the child.

2. School districts shall annually set an administrative fee estimated to cover the costs of preparing, copying and mailing the student information required to be provided pursuant to this section.

(L. 1989 H.B. 422 1, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Relocation of child by parent for more than ninety days, required procedure--violation, effect--notice of relocation of parent, required procedure.

452.377. 1. For purposes of this section and section 452.375, "relocate" or "relocation" means a change in the principal residence of a child for a period of ninety days or more, but does not include a temporary absence from the principal residence.

2. Notice of a proposed relocation of the residence of the child, or any party entitled to custody or visitation of the child, shall be given in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any party with custody or visitation rights. Absent exigent circumstances as determined by a court with jurisdiction, written notice shall be provided at least sixty days in advance of the proposed relocation. The notice of the proposed relocation shall include the following information:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city;

(2) The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;

(3) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;

(4) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child, if applicable; and

(5) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation with the child, if applicable.

3. A party required to give notice of a proposed relocation pursuant to subsection 2 of this section has a continuing duty to provide a change in or addition to the information required by this section as soon as such information becomes known.

4. In exceptional circumstances where the court makes a finding that the health or safety of any adult or child would be unreasonably placed at risk by the disclosure of the required identifying information concerning a proposed relocation of the child, the court may order that:

(1) The specific residence address and telephone number of the child, parent or person, and other identifying information shall not be disclosed in the pleadings, notice, other documents filed in the proceeding or the final order except for an in camera disclosure;

(2) The notice requirements provided by this section shall be waived to the extent necessary to protect the health or safety of a child or any adult; or

(3) Any other remedial action the court considers necessary to facilitate the legitimate needs of the parties and the best interest of the child.

5. The court shall consider a failure to provide notice of a proposed relocation of a child as:

(1) A factor in determining whether custody and visitation should be modified;

(2) A basis for ordering the return of the child if the relocation occurs without notice; and

(3) Sufficient cause to order the party seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorneys fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation.

6. If the parties agree to a revised schedule of custody and visitation for the child, which includes a parenting plan, they may submit the terms of such agreement to the court with a written affidavit signed by all parties with custody or visitation assenting to the terms of the agreement, and the court may order the revised parenting plan and applicable visitation schedule without a hearing.

7. The residence of the child may be relocated sixty days after providing notice, as required by this section, unless a parent files a motion seeking an order to prevent the relocation within thirty days after receipt of such notice. Such motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the specific factual basis supporting a prohibition of the relocation. The person seeking relocation shall file a response to the motion within fourteen days, unless extended by the court for good cause, and include a counter-affidavit setting forth the facts in support of the relocation as well as a proposed revised parenting plan for the child.

8. If relocation of the child is proposed, a third party entitled by court order to legal custody of or visitation with a child and who is not a parent may file a cause of action to obtain a revised schedule of legal custody or visitation, but shall not prevent a relocation.

9. The party seeking to relocate shall have the burden of proving that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and is in the best interest of the child.

10. If relocation is permitted:

(1) The court shall order contact with the nonrelocating party including custody or visitation and telephone access sufficient to assure that the child has frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the nonrelocating party unless the child's best interest warrants* otherwise; and

(2) The court shall specify how the transportation costs will be allocated between the parties and adjust the child support, as appropriate, considering the costs of transportation.

11. After August 28, 1998, every court order establishing or modifying custody or visitation shall include the following language: "Absent exigent circumstances as determined by a court with jurisdiction, you, as a party to this action, are ordered to notify, in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, and at least sixty days prior to the proposed relocation, each party to this action of any proposed relocation of the principal residence of the child, including the following information:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city;

(2) The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;

(3) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;

(4) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child; and

(5) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation with the child.

Your obligation to provide this information to each party continues as long as you or any other party by virtue of this order is entitled to custody of a child covered by this order. Your failure to obey the order of this court regarding the proposed relocation may result in further litigation to enforce such order, including contempt of court. In addition, your failure to notify a party of a relocation of the child may be considered in a proceeding to modify custody or visitation with the child. Reasonable costs and attorney fees may be assessed against you if you fail to give the required notice.".

12. Violation of the provisions of this section or a court order under this section may be deemed a change of circumstance under section 452.410, allowing the court to modify the prior custody decree. In addition, the court may utilize any and all powers relating to contempt conferred on it by law or rule of the Missouri supreme court.

13. Any party who objects in good faith to the relocation of a child's principal** residence shall not be ordered to pay the costs and attorney's fees of the party seeking to relocate.

(L. 1984 H.B. 1513 452.375 subsec. 6, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

*Word "warrant" appears in original rolls.

**Word "principle" appears in original rolls.



Temporary custody, motion for--dismissal of action, effect of.

452.380. 1. A party to a custody proceeding may move for a temporary custody order. The motion must be supported by an affidavit. The court may award temporary custody after a hearing or, if there is no objection, solely on the basis of the affidavits.

2. If a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation is dismissed, any temporary custody order is vacated unless a parent or the child's custodian moves that the proceeding continue as a custody proceeding and the court finds, after a hearing, that the circumstances of the parents and the best interest of the child require that a custody decree be issued.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 17)

Effective 1-1-74



Child's wishes as to custodian, how determined.

452.385. The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child's wishes as to his custodian and relevant matters within his knowledge. The court shall permit counsel to be present at the interview and to participate therein. The court shall cause a record of the interview to be made and to be made part of the record in the case.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 18)

Effective 1-1-74

(1975) Held failure to allow counsel to be present and failure to make a record of judge's interview with children was reversible error. Duncan v. Duncan (A.), 528 S.W.2d 806.

(1976) Held that court order which directed in chambers interview record sealed and did not make it part of record on appeal was not arbitrary and appellant's failure to take steps to make record available bars his claim for relief. A.M.S. v. J.L.S. (A.), 544 S.W.2d 885.



Investigation and report on custodial arrangements for a child--how conducted--report due, when--material to be available to counsel and parties.

452.390. 1. The court may order an investigation and report concerning custodial arrangements for the child. The investigation and report may be made by the county welfare office, the county juvenile officer, or any other competent person.

2. In preparing his report concerning a child, the investigator may consult any person who may have information about the child and his potential custodial arrangements. Upon order of the court, the investigator may refer the child to professional personnel for diagnosis. The investigator may consult with and obtain information from medical, psychiatric, or other expert persons who have served the child in the past without obtaining the consent of the parent or the child's custodian, but the child's consent must be obtained if he has reached the age of sixteen, unless the court finds that he lacks mental capacity to consent.

3. At least ten days prior to the hearing the investigator shall furnish his report to counsel and to any party not represented by counsel. No one else, including the court, shall be entitled thereto prior to the hearing. The investigator shall make available to counsel and to any party not represented by counsel an investigator's file of underlying data and reports, complete texts of diagnostic reports made to the investigator pursuant to the provisions of subsection 2, and the names and addresses of all persons whom the investigator has consulted. Any party to the proceeding may call as witnesses the investigator and any person whom the investigator has consulted.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 19)

Effective 1-1-74



Custody proceedings, priority of--judge to determine law and fact--secrecy, when.

452.395. 1. Custody proceedings shall receive priority in being set for hearing.

2. The court without a jury shall determine questions of law and fact. If it finds that a public hearing may be detrimental to the child's best interests, the court may exclude the public from a custody hearing, but may admit any person who has a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case.

3. If the court finds it necessary to protect the child's welfare that the record of any interview, report, investigation, or testimony in a custody proceeding be kept secret, the court may make an appropriate order sealing the record.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 20, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869)

Effective 7-1-97



Visitation rights, awarded when--history of domestic violence, consideration of--prohibited, when--modification of, when--supervised visitation defined--noncompliance with order, effect of--family access motions, procedure, penalty for violation--attorney fees and costs assessed, when.

452.400. 1. (1) A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger the child's physical health or impair his or her emotional development. The court shall enter an order specifically detailing the visitation rights of the parent without physical custody rights to the child and any other children for whom such parent has custodial or visitation rights. In determining the granting of visitation rights, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence. If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court may find that granting visitation to the abusive party is in the best interests of the child.

(2) (a) The court shall not grant visitation to the parent not granted custody if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of or pled guilty to any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

a. A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.040, 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.070, 566.083, 566.090, 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.212, or 566.215, RSMo;

b. A violation of section 568.020, RSMo;

c. A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060, RSMo;

d. A violation of section 568.065, RSMo;

e. A violation of section 568.080, RSMo;

f. A violation of section 568.090, RSMo; or

g. A violation of section 568.175, RSMo.

(b) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568, RSMo, not specifically listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568, RSMo, if committed in Missouri, the court may exercise its discretion in granting visitation to a parent not granted custody if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

(3) The court shall consider the parent's history of inflicting, or tendency to inflict, physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault on other persons and shall grant visitation in a manner that best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, and any other children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

(4) The court, if requested by a party, shall make specific findings of fact to show that the visitation arrangements made by the court best protect the child or the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, or any other child for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

2. (1) The court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights whenever modification would serve the best interests of the child, but the court shall not restrict a parent's visitation rights unless it finds that the visitation would endanger the child's physical health or impair his or her emotional development.

(2) (a) In any proceeding modifying visitation rights, the court shall not grant unsupervised visitation to a parent if the parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of or pled guilty to any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

a. A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.040, 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.070, 566.083, 566.090, 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.212, or 566.215, RSMo;

b. A violation of section 568.020, RSMo;

c. A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060, RSMo;

d. A violation of section 568.065, RSMo;

e. A violation of section 568.080, RSMo;

f. A violation of section 568.090, RSMo; or

g. A violation of section 568.175, RSMo.

(b) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568, RSMo, not specifically listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568, RSMo, if committed in Missouri, the division may exercise its discretion regarding the placement of a child taken into the custody of the state in which a parent or any person residing in the home has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

(3) When a court restricts a parent's visitation rights or when a court orders supervised visitation because of allegations of abuse or domestic violence, a showing of proof of treatment and rehabilitation shall be made to the court before unsupervised visitation may be ordered. "Supervised visitation", as used in this section, is visitation which takes place in the presence of a responsible adult appointed by the court for the protection of the child.

3. The court shall mandate compliance with its order by all parties to the action, including parents, children and third parties. In the event of noncompliance, the aggrieved person may file a verified motion for contempt. If custody, visitation or third-party custody is denied or interfered with by a parent or third party without good cause, the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court stating the specific facts which constitute a violation of the judgment of dissolution or legal separation. The state courts administrator shall develop a simple form for pro se motions to the aggrieved person, which shall be provided to the person by the circuit clerk. Clerks, under the supervision of a circuit clerk, shall explain to aggrieved parties the procedures for filing the form. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerk's offices. The location of the office where the family access motion may be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties described in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010, RSMo. Such form for pro se motions shall not require the assistance of legal counsel to prepare and file. The cost of filing the motion shall be the standard court costs otherwise due for instituting a civil action in the circuit court.

4. Within five court days after the filing of the family access motion pursuant to subsection 3 of this section, the clerk of the court shall issue a summons pursuant to applicable state law, and applicable local or supreme court rules. A copy of the motion shall be personally served upon the respondent by personal process server as provided by law or by any sheriff. Such service shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other civil actions, except those of an emergency nature or those filed pursuant to chapter 455, RSMo. The motion shall contain the following statement in boldface type:

"PURSUANT TO SECTION 452.400, RSMO, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO RESPOND TO THE CIRCUIT CLERK WITHIN TEN DAYS OF THE DATE OF SERVICE. FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE CIRCUIT CLERK MAY RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING:

(1) AN ORDER FOR A COMPENSATORY PERIOD OF CUSTODY, VISITATION OR THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY AT A TIME CONVENIENT FOR THE AGGRIEVED PARTY NOT LESS THAN THE PERIOD OF TIME DENIED;

(2) PARTICIPATION BY THE VIOLATOR IN COUNSELING TO EDUCATE THE VIOLATOR ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING THE CHILD WITH A CONTINUING AND MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH PARENTS;

(3) ASSESSMENT OF A FINE OF UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AGAINST THE VIOLATOR;

(4) REQUIRING THE VIOLATOR TO POST BOND OR SECURITY TO ENSURE FUTURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE COURT'S ORDERS;

(5) ORDERING THE VIOLATOR TO PAY THE COST OF COUNSELING TO REESTABLISH THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AGGRIEVED PARTY AND THE CHILD; AND

(6) A JUDGMENT IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE REASONABLE EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COURT COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY AS A RESULT OF THE DENIAL OF CUSTODY, VISITATION OR THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY.".

5. If an alternative dispute resolution program is available pursuant to section 452.372, the clerk shall also provide information to all parties on the availability of any such services, and within fourteen days of the date of service, the court may schedule alternative dispute resolution.

6. Upon a finding by the court pursuant to a motion for a family access order or a motion for contempt that its order for custody, visitation or third-party custody has not been complied with, without good cause, the court shall order a remedy, which may include, but not be limited to:

(1) A compensatory period of visitation, custody or third-party custody at a time convenient for the aggrieved party not less than the period of time denied;

(2) Participation by the violator in counseling to educate the violator about the importance of providing the child with a continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents;

(3) Assessment of a fine of up to five hundred dollars against the violator payable to the aggrieved party;

(4) Requiring the violator to post bond or security to ensure future compliance with the court's access orders; and

(5) Ordering the violator to pay the cost of counseling to reestablish the parent-child relationship between the aggrieved party and the child.

7. The reasonable expenses incurred as a result of denial or interference with custody or visitation, including attorney's fees and costs of a proceeding to enforce visitation rights, custody or third-party custody, shall be assessed, if requested and for good cause, against the parent or party who unreasonably denies or interferes with visitation, custody or third-party custody. In addition, the court may utilize any and all powers relating to contempt conferred on it by law or rule of the Missouri supreme court.

8. Final disposition of a motion for a family access order filed pursuant to this section shall take place not more than sixty days after the service of such motion, unless waived by the parties or determined to be in the best interest of the child. Final disposition shall not include appellate review.

9. Motions filed pursuant to this section shall not be deemed an independent civil action from the original action pursuant to which the judgment or order sought to be enforced was entered.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 21, A.L. 1977 S.B. 430, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1983 S.B. 94, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1989 H.B. 422, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453, A.L. 2005 H.B. 568)

(1977) Where original decree is silent as to visitation rights no change of circumstance need be shown to authorize "modification" (really clarification) of visitation rights. Adoption of E.N. v. E.M.N. (A.), 559 S.W.2d 543.



Grandparent's visitation rights granted, when, terminated, when--guardian ad litem appointed, when--attorney fees and costs assessed, when.

452.402. 1. The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparents of the child and issue any necessary orders to enforce the decree. The court may grant grandparent visitation when:

(1) The parents of the child have filed for a dissolution of their marriage. A grandparent shall have the right to intervene in any dissolution action solely on the issue of visitation rights. Grandparents shall also have the right to file a motion to modify the original decree of dissolution to seek visitation rights when visitation has been denied to them; or

(2) One parent of the child is deceased and the surviving parent denies reasonable visitation to a parent of the deceased parent of the child; or

(3) The child has resided in the grandparent's home for at least six months within the twenty-four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition; and

(4) A grandparent is unreasonably denied visitation with the child for a period exceeding ninety days. However, if the natural parents are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, a grandparent may not file for visitation pursuant to this subdivision.

2. The court shall determine if the visitation by the grandparent would be in the child's best interest or if it would endanger the child's physical health or impair the child's emotional development. Visitation may only be ordered when the court finds such visitation to be in the best interests of the child. However, when the parents of the child are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that such parents know what is in the best interest of the child. The court may order reasonable conditions or restrictions on grandparent visitation.

3. If the court finds it to be in the best interests of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in Missouri. The guardian ad litem may, for the purpose of determining the question of grandparent visitation rights, participate in the proceedings as if such guardian ad litem were a party. The court shall enter judgment allowing a reasonable fee to the guardian ad litem.

4. A home study, as described by section 452.390, may be ordered by the court to assist in determining the best interests of the child.

5. The court may, in its discretion, consult with the child regarding the child's wishes in determining the best interest of the child.

6. The right of a grandparent to maintain visitation rights pursuant to this section may terminate upon the adoption of the child.

7. The court may award reasonable attorneys fees and expenses to the prevailing party.

(L. 1977 S.B. 430 2, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1513, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1998 S.B. 674, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al., A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453)

(1990) Although father of child born out of wedlock did not acknowledge paternity, pay support or otherwise establish a relationship with the child, parent of father could seek grandparent's visitation under statute. In the Matter of C.E.R., 796 S.W.2d 423 (Mo.App.S.D.).

(1993) Statute granting grandparent's visitation rights held to be constitutional. Herndon v. Tuhey, No. 75184, Mo. S. Ct., June 29, 1993.

(1993) Although parents have constitutional right to make decisions affecting family, statute is constitutional as court considers magnitude of infringement by state as significant factor and whether there is substantial infringement by state on family relationship. Statute granting grandparents right to petition court for visitation with grandchildren is reasonable both because it contemplates only minimal intrusion on family relationship and because it is narrowly tailored to adequately protect interests of parents and children. Herndon v. Tuhey, 857 S.W.2d 203 (Mo.banc).

(2000) Award of grandparent visitation to child's maternal step-grandparents not authorized pursuant to statute governing grandparent visitation rights. Hampton v. Hampton, 17 S.W.3d 599 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(2002) Section, as enacted prior to 2002 amendment in SB 923, et al., is constitutional under the standard enunciated in Troxel v. Granville, 520 U.S. 57 (2000). Blakely v. Blakely, 83 S.W.3d 537 (Mo.banc).

(2003) Section requires that ninety-day period occurs prior to entry of visitation order and not prior to filing of petition. Barker v. Barker, 98 S.W.3d 532 (Mo.banc).

(2004) Where prior dissolution judgment includes custody and visitation provisions allocating parental time and responsibilities, grandparent is limited to seeking visitation with grandchild through motion to modify dissolution decree rather than independent petition. Tompkins v. Ford, 135 S.W.3d 508 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Grandparent denied visitation, court may order mediation upon written request, purpose--costs--venue--termination of mediation, when.

452.403. 1. Upon the written request of a grandparent denied visitation with a grandchild, the associate division of the circuit court may order mediation with any party who has custody or visitation rights with the minor child and appoint a mediator. Such written request need not follow the rules of civil procedure and need not be written or filed by an attorney.

2. As used in this section, "mediation" is the process by which a neutral mediator appointed by the court assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable voluntary and consensual agreement in the best interests of the child as to issues of child care and visitation. The role of the mediator is to aid the parties in identifying the issues, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of common interest and finding points of agreement. An agreement reached by the parties shall be based on the decisions of the parties and not the decisions of the mediator. The agreement reached may resolve all or only some of the disputed issues.

3. At any time after the third mediation session, either party may terminate mediation ordered pursuant to this section.

4. The costs of the mediation shall be paid by the grandparent requesting the mediation order.

5. The venue shall be in the county where the child resides.

(L. 1992 H.B. 1492 l)



Neutral location for exchange of children, when.

452.404. To ensure compliance with the parenting plans or court orders, the court may require parents, or parents may agree, to bring the minor children to a neutral location for the exchange pursuant to such plans or orders. Such location may include a center specifically established for such exchanges or an existing location suitable for such exchanges. A neutral third party may be present at each exchange to provide an accurate documentation of the compliance or noncompliance with the ordered exchange.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 5)



Custodian to determine child's upbringing, exception--continued supervision, when.

452.405. 1. Except as otherwise ordered by the court or agreed by the parties in writing at the time of the custody decree, the legal custodian may determine the child's upbringing, including his education, health care, and religious training, unless the court after hearing finds, upon motion by the parent without legal custody, that in the absence of a specific limitation of the legal custodian's authority the child's physical health would be endangered or his emotional development impaired.

2. The legal custodian shall not exercise legal custody in such a way as to significantly and detrimentally impact the other parent's visitation or custody rights.

3. The court may order the county welfare office or the county juvenile officer to exercise continuing supervision over the case.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 22, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Custody, decree, modification of, when.

452.410. 1. Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, the court shall not modify a prior custody decree unless it has jurisdiction under the provisions of section 452.450 and it finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior decree or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior decree, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or sections 452.375 and 452.400, any custody order entered by any court in this state or any other state prior to August 13, 1984, may, subject to jurisdictional requirements, be modified to allow for joint custody in accordance with section 452.375, without any further showing.

2. If either parent files a motion to modify an award of joint legal custody or joint physical custody, each party shall be entitled to a change of judge as provided by supreme court rule.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 23, A.L. 1978 H.B. 914, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1513, A.L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al.)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Court may transfer custody if custodial parent, without good cause, fails to honor visitation order, RSMo 452.340

(1976) In motion to modify child custody decree under this section, it is not necessary to wait for manifestations of harmful consequences before action is taken. L.H.Y. v. J.M.Y. (A.), 535 S.W.2d 304.

(1978) Court may not modify original dissolution decree vesting custody on stipulation of partner, but must conduct hearing and make findings required in best interests of child. Fleming v. Fleming (A.), 562 S.W.2d 168.

(2007) Change in circumstances need not be substantial for modification of custody to accommodate changes of scheduling parenting time between mother and father. Russell v. Russell, 210 S.W.3d 191 (Mo.banc).



Change of residence deemed grounds for modification of custody, when.

452.411. If either parent of a child changes his residence to another state, such change of residence of the parent shall be deemed a change of circumstances under section 452.410, allowing the court to modify a prior visitation or custody decree.

(L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al. 10, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

(2002) Section only applies when relocation occurs in violation of section 452.377. Baxley v. Jarred, 91 S.W.3d 192 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Military service of parent not to be a basis for modification of a visitation or custody order--limitations on issuance of certain court orders.

452.412. 1. A party's absence, relocation, or failure to comply with custody and visitation orders shall not, by itself, be sufficient to justify a modification of a custody or visitation order if the reason for the absence, relocation, or failure to comply is the party's activation to military service and deployment out-of-state.

2. For a party in active military service and deployed out-of-state, any court order:

(1) Issued or modified regarding child custody or visitation during the time of such out-of-state military deployment of the party, including as part of an entry of decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation, shall be temporary in nature and shall not exceed the length of time of such deployment;

(2) Issued regarding ex parte adult or child orders of protection under sections 455.010 to 455.085, RSMo, or sections 455.500 to 455.538, RSMo, during the time of such out-of-state military deployment of the party, may be extended beyond the initial fifteen days required under sections 455.040 and 455.516, RSMo. Such orders issued under this subdivision shall be temporary in nature and shall not exceed the length of time of such deployment.

Upon such party's return from out-of-state military deployment, the party shall be given an opportunity to be heard on the child custody and visitation order or ex parte order of protection prior to a permanent order being entered by the court as to such issues. If the party in active military service knowingly and voluntarily signs a written waiver to the right to have such a hearing upon the party's return from out-of-state military deployment, the court may issue a permanent order on the issues under this section.

(L. 2008 H.B. 1678, A.L. 2009 H.B. 427)



When sections 452.300 to 452.415 shall apply.

452.415. 1. Sections 452.300 to 452.415 apply to all proceedings commenced on or after January 1, 1974.

2. Sections 452.300 to 452.415 apply to all pending actions and proceedings commenced prior to January 1, 1974, with respect to issues on which a judgment has not been entered. Pending actions for divorce or separation are deemed to have been commenced on the basis of irretrievable breakdown. Evidence adduced after January 1, 1974, shall be in compliance with sections 452.300 to 452.415.

3. Sections 452.300 to 452.415 apply to all proceedings commenced after January 1, 1974, for the modification of a judgment or order entered prior to January 1, 1974.

4. In any action or proceeding in which an appeal was pending or a new trial was ordered prior to January 1, 1974, the law in effect at the time of the order sustaining the appeal or the new trial governs the appeal, the new trial, and any subsequent trial or appeal.

(L. 1973 H.B. 315 24)

Effective 1-1-74

(1975) Where plaintiff filed divorce action in 1972, case was heard in 1973, statutes on dissolution of marriage became effective January 1, 1974, and no judgment had been entered on case pending; the issue for decision then became whether marriage was irretrievably broken and not whether plaintiff was entitled to a divorce for indignities. Bishop v. Bishop (A.), 521 S.W.2d 26.



Parent's change in income due to military service, effect on order of child support--director of division of child support enforcement, duties.

452.416. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, whenever a parent in emergency military service has a change in income due to such military service, such change in income shall be considered a change in circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of any order or judgment for child support or visitation unreasonable.

2. Upon receipt of a notarized letter from the commanding officer of a noncustodial parent in emergency military service which contains the date of the commencement of emergency military service and the compensation of the parent in emergency military service, the director of the division of child support enforcement shall take appropriate action to seek modification of the order or judgment of child support in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. Such notification to the director shall constitute an application for services under section 454.425, RSMo.

3. Upon return from emergency military service the parent shall notify the director of the division of child support enforcement who shall take appropriate action to seek modification of the order or judgment of child support in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. Such notification to the director shall constitute an application for services under section 454.425, RSMo.

4. As used in this section, the term "emergency military service" means that the parent is a member of a reserve unit or national guard unit which is called into active military duty for a period of more than thirty days.

(L. 1991 S.B. 358, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Proceedings to be heard by circuit judge--exception.

452.420. All proceedings authorized in chapter 452 to be maintained in circuit court shall be heard by circuit judges, except that said proceedings may be heard by an associate circuit judge if he is assigned to hear such case or class of cases or if he is transferred to hear such case or class of cases pursuant to other provisions of law or section 6 of article V of the constitution.

(L. 1978 H.B. 1634)

Effective 1-2-79



Guardian ad litem appointed, when, duties--disqualification, when--fees.

452.423. 1. In all proceedings for child custody or for dissolution of marriage or legal separation where custody, visitation, or support of a child is a contested issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. Disqualification of a guardian ad litem shall be ordered in any legal proceeding only pursuant to this chapter, upon the filing of a written application by any party within ten days of appointment, or within ten days of August 28, 1998, if the appointment occurs prior to August 28, 1998. Each party shall be entitled to one disqualification of a guardian ad litem appointed under this subsection in each proceeding, except a party may be entitled to additional disqualifications of a guardian ad litem for good cause shown.

2. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.

3. The guardian ad litem shall:

(1) Be the legal representative of the child at the hearing, and may examine, cross-examine, subpoena witnesses and offer testimony;

(2) Prior to the hearing, conduct all necessary interviews with persons having contact with or knowledge of the child in order to ascertain the child's wishes, feelings, attachments and attitudes. If appropriate, the child should be interviewed;

(3) Request the juvenile officer to cause a petition to be filed in the juvenile division of the circuit court if the guardian ad litem believes the child alleged to be abused or neglected is in danger.

4. The appointing judge shall require the guardian ad litem to faithfully discharge such guardian ad litem's duties, and upon failure to do so shall discharge such guardian ad litem and appoint another. The judge in making appointments pursuant to this section shall give preference to persons who served as guardian ad litem for the child in the earlier proceeding, unless there is a reason on the record for not giving such preference.

5. The guardian ad litem shall be awarded a reasonable fee for such services to be set by the court. The court, in its discretion, may:

(1) Issue a direct payment order to the parties. If a party fails to comply with the court's direct payment order, the court may find such party to be in contempt of court; or

(2) Award such fees as a judgment to be paid by any party to the proceedings or from public funds. Such an award of guardian fees shall constitute a final judgment in favor of the guardian ad litem. Such final judgment shall be enforceable against the parties in accordance with chapter 513, RSMo.

(L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al., A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453 merged with S.B. 1211, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)

(2000) Section allowing party to custody or visitation proceeding to disqualify one guardian ad litem as matter of right is constitutional. Suffian v. Usher, 19 S.W.3d 130 (Mo.banc).



Sheriff or law enforcement to enforce custody and visitation orders, when--limitations.

452.425. Any court order for the custody of, or visitation with, a child may include a provision that the sheriff or other law enforcement officer shall enforce the rights of any person to custody or visitation unless the court issues a subsequent order pursuant to chapter* 210, 211, 452 or 455, RSMo, to limit or deny the custody of, or visitations with, the child. Such sheriff or law enforcement officer shall not remove a child from a person who has actual physical custody of the child unless such sheriff or officer is shown a court order or judgment which clearly and convincingly verifies that such person is not entitled to the actual physical custody of the child, and there are not other exigent circumstances that would give the sheriff or officer reasonable suspicion to believe that the child would be harmed or that the court order presented to the sheriff or officer may not be valid.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 8)

*Word "chapters" appears in original rolls.



Risk of international abduction, court may impose restrictions and restraints.

452.426. If the judge determines that there is potential risk of international abduction of the child by either party, the judge may place any restraints on the parties or grant any remedies to either party that is necessary.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Limitation on inspection of certain documents--redaction of Social Security numbers.

452.430. Any pleadings, other than the interlocutory or final judgment, in a dissolution of marriage or legal separation filed prior to August 28, 2009, shall be subject to inspection only by the parties or an attorney of record or upon order of the court for good cause shown, or by the family support division within the department of social services when services are being provided under section 454.400, RSMo. The clerk shall redact the Social Security number from any judgment or pleading before releasing the interlocutory or final judgment to the public.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Surcharge collected, when, use.

452.552. In addition to any other court costs required to institute an action in the circuit division of the circuit court, a surcharge of three dollars shall be paid by the person filing such action. The surcharge shall be collected and disbursed in a manner provided by sections 488.012 to 488.020, RSMo, by the court clerk at the time the petition is filed and shall be payable to the director of revenue for deposit in the domestic relations resolution fund established in section 452.554.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Domestic relations resolution fund established, use.

452.554. There is established in the state treasury a special fund to be known as the "Domestic Relations Resolution Fund". The director of revenue shall credit to and deposit all amounts received pursuant to section 452.552 to the fund. The general assembly shall appropriate moneys annually from the domestic relations resolution fund to the state courts administrator to pay the cost associated with the handbook created in section 452.556 and to reimburse local judicial circuits for the costs associated with the implementation of and creation of education programs for parents of children, alternative dispute resolution programs and similar programs applicable to domestic relations cases. The provisions of section 33.080, RSMo, shall not apply to the domestic relations resolution fund.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Handbook, contents, availability.

452.556. 1. The state courts administrator shall create a handbook or be responsible for the approval of a handbook outlining the following:

(1) What is included in a parenting plan;

(2) The benefits of the parties agreeing to a parenting plan which outlines education, custody and cooperation between parents;

(3) The benefits of alternative dispute resolution;

(4) The pro se family access motion for enforcement of custody or temporary physical custody;

(5) The underlying assumptions for supreme court rules relating to child support; and

(6) A party's duties and responsibilities pursuant to section 452.377, including the possible consequences of not complying with section 452.377. The handbooks shall be distributed to each court and shall be available in an alternative format, including Braille, large print, or electronic or audio format upon request by a person with a disability, as defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

2. Each court shall mail a copy of the handbook developed pursuant to subsection 1 of this section to each party in a dissolution or legal separation action filed pursuant to section 452.310, or any proceeding in modification thereof, where minor children are involved, or may provide the petitioner with a copy of the handbook at the time the petition is filed and direct that a copy of the handbook be served along with the petition and summons upon the respondent.

3. The court shall make the handbook available to interested state agencies and members of the public.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2001 S.B. 267)



Educational sessions program shall be established by courts--for proceedings involving custody or support.

452.600. The circuit courts, by local rule, shall establish a program of educational sessions for parties to actions for dissolution of marriage or in postjudgment proceedings involving custody or support, concerning the effects of dissolution of marriage on minor children of the marriage, and the benefits of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation. In lieu of establishing such a program, the circuit court may, by local rule, designate a similar program of educational sessions offered by a private or public entity.

(L. 1993 H.B. 353 1 subsec. 1, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Court shall order parties to action and may order children to attend, when.

452.605. In an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation involving minor children, or in a postjudgment proceeding wherein custody of minor children is to be determined by the court, the court shall, except for good cause, unless otherwise provided by local rule, order the parties to attend educational sessions concerning the effects of custody and the dissolution of marriage on children. As used in this section "good cause" includes, but is not limited to, situations where the parties have stipulated to the custody and visitation of the child, or a finding by a court with jurisdiction after all parties have received notice and an opportunity to be heard that the safety of a party or child may be endangered by attending the educational sessions. The court may order the minor children to attend age-appropriate educational sessions.

(L. 1993 H.B. 353 1 subsec. 2, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Educational sessions required in dissolution, when, RSMo 452.372



Confidentiality of facts obtained at sessions not considered in adjudication, exception.

452.607. The facts adduced at any educational session resulting from a referral pursuant to the provisions of sections 452.600 to 452.610 shall not be considered in the adjudication of a pending or subsequent judicial proceeding, nor shall any report resulting from such educational session, except a certification for completion of the session, become part of the record of any judicial proceeding unless the parties have stipulated in writing to the contrary.

(L. 1993 H.B. 353 1 subsec. 3)



Cost of educational session, amount.

452.610. The fees or costs of educational sessions under sections 452.600 to 452.610 shall be less than seventy-five dollars per person and shall be borne by the parties as deemed equitable.

(L. 1993 H.B. 353 1 subsec. 4, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869)

Effective 7-1-97



Short title.

452.700. Sections 452.700 to 452.930 may be cited as the "Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act".

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Definitions.

452.705. As used in sections 452.700 to 452.930:

(1) "Abandoned" means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision;

(2) "Child" means an individual who has not attained eighteen years of age;

(3) "Child custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, or modification order. The term shall not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual;

(4) "Child custody proceeding" means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence in which the issue may appear. The term shall not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under sections 452.850 to 452.915;

(5) "Commencement" means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding;

(6) "Court" means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination;

(7) "Decree" or "custody decree" means a custody determination contained in a judicial decree or order made in a custody proceeding, and includes an initial decree and a modification decree;

(8) "Home state" means the state in which a child has lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child has lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of such period;

(9) "Initial determination" means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child;

(10) "Issuing court" means the court making a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under sections 452.700 to 452.930;

(11) "Issuing state" means the state in which a child custody determination is made;

(12) "Litigant" means a person, including a parent, grandparent, or stepparent, who claims a right to custody or visitation with respect to a child;

(13) "Modification" means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination;

(14) "Person" includes government, a governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity;

(15) "Person acting as a parent" means a person, other than a parent, who:

(a) Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately prior to the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(b) Has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state;

(16) "Physical custody" means the physical care and supervision of a child;

(17) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;

(18) "Warrant" means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Proceedings governed by other law.

452.710. Sections 452.700 to 452.930 shall not govern:

(1) An adoption proceeding; or

(2) A proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Application to Indian tribes.

452.715. 1. A child custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child, as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. Section 1901, et seq., is not subject to sections 452.700 to 452.930 to the extent that it is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

2. A court of this state shall treat a tribe as a state of the United States for purposes of sections 452.700 to 452.930.

3. A child custody determination made by a tribe under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of sections 452.700 to 452.930 shall be recognized and enforced under the provisions of sections 452.850 to 452.915.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



International application of act.

452.720. 1. A court of this state shall treat a foreign country as a state of the United States for purposes of applying sections 452.700 to 452.785.

2. A child custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of sections 452.700 to 452.930 shall be recognized and enforced under sections 452.850 to 452.915.

3. The court need not apply the provisions of sections 452.700 to 452.930 when the child custody law of the other country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Appearance and limited immunity.

452.725. 1. A party to a child custody proceeding who is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state and is a responding party under sections 452.740 to 452.785, a party in a proceeding to modify a child custody determination under sections 452.740 to 452.785, or a petitioner in a proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination under sections 452.850 to 452.915 may appear and participate in such proceeding without submitting to personal jurisdiction over the party for another proceeding or purpose.

2. A party is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state solely by being physically present for the purpose of participating in a proceeding under sections 452.700 to 452.930. If a party is subject to personal jurisdiction in this state on a basis other than physical presence, the party may be served with process in this state. If a party present in this state is subject to the jurisdiction of another state, service of process permissible under the laws of the other state may be accomplished in this state.

3. The immunity granted by this section shall not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under sections 452.700 to 452.930 committed by an individual while present in this state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Communication between courts.

452.730. 1. A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under sections 452.700 to 452.930.

2. The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, the parties shall be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

3. A communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of such communication.

4. Except as provided in subsection 3 of this section, a record shall be made of the communication. The parties shall be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

5. For the purposes of this section, "record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium, or that which is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. A record includes notes or transcripts of a court reporter who listened to a conference call between the courts, an electronic recording of a telephone call, a memorandum or an electronic record of the communication between the courts, or a memorandum or an electronic record made by a court after the communication.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Cooperation between courts--preservation of records.

452.735. 1. A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to:

(1) Hold an evidentiary hearing;

(2) Order a person to produce or give evidence under procedures of that state;

(3) Order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding;

(4) Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; and

(5) Order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

2. Upon request of a court of another state, a court of this state may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection 1 of this section.

3. Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsection 1 or 2 of this section may be assessed against the parties according to the law of this state.

4. A court of this state shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child attains eighteen years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward a certified copy of such records.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Initial child custody jurisdiction.

452.740. 1. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months prior to the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;

(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision (1) of this subsection, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under section 452.770 or 452.775, and:

(a) The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and

(b) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training and personal relationships;

(3) All courts having jurisdiction under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under section 452.770 or 452.775; or

(4) No state would have jurisdiction under subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection.

2. Subsection 1 of this section is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

3. Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction.

452.745. 1. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state that has made a child custody determination consistent with section 452.740 or 452.750 has exclusive continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:

(1) A court of this state determines that neither the child, the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this state, and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training and personal relationships; or

(2) A court of this state or a court of another state determines that neither the child, nor a parent, nor any person acting as a parent presently resides in this state.

2. A court of this state that has exclusive continuing jurisdiction under this section may decline to exercise its jurisdiction if the court determines that it is an inconvenient forum under section 452.770.

3. A court of this state that has made a child custody determination and does not have exclusive continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under section 452.740.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Verified petition--service of process.

452.747. 1. Any petition for modification of child custody decrees filed under the provisions of section 452.410 or sections 452.700 to 452.930 shall be verified and, if the original proceeding originated in the state of Missouri, shall be filed in that original case, but service shall be obtained and responsive pleadings may be filed as in any original proceeding.

2. Before making a decree under section 452.410 or sections 452.700 to 452.930, the litigants, any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated, and any person who has physical custody of the child shall be served in the manner provided by the rules of civil procedure and applicable court rules and may within thirty days after the date of service (forty-five days if service by publication) file a verified answer. If any such persons are outside this state, notice and opportunity to be heard shall be given under section 452.740.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Jurisdiction to modify determination.

452.750. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state shall not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of section 452.740 and:

(1) The court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive continuing jurisdiction under section 452.745 or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under section 452.770; or

(2) A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that neither the child, nor a parent, nor any person acting as a parent presently resides in the other state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Temporary emergency jurisdiction.

452.755. 1. A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned, or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

2. If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under sections 452.700 to 452.930, and if no child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750. If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination if:

(1) It so provides; and

(2) This state becomes the home state of the child.

3. If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under sections 452.700 to 452.930, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750, any order issued by a court of this state under this section shall specify in the order a period of time which the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750. The order issued in this state remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or the period expires.

4. A court of this state that has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced, or a child custody determination has been made, by a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this state that is exercising jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced, or a child custody determination has been made by a court of another state under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that state. The purpose of such communication is to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Notice--opportunity to be heard--joinder.

452.760. 1. Before a child custody determination is made under sections 452.700 to 452.930, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the standards of section 452.762 shall be given to:

(1) All persons entitled to notice under the provisions of the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state;

(2) Any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated; and

(3) Any person having physical custody of the child.

2. Sections 452.700 to 452.930 shall not govern the enforceability of a child custody determination made without notice and an opportunity to be heard.

3. The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a party in a child custody proceeding under sections 452.700 to 452.930 are governed by the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Notice for exercise of jurisdiction.

452.762. 1. Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this state for the service of process or by the law of the state in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice, but may be by publication if other means are not effective.

2. Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by law of this state or by the law of the state in which the service is made.

3. Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Simultaneous proceedings.

452.765. 1. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state shall not exercise its jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.785 if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child had been previously commenced in a court of another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with sections 452.700 to 452.930, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by the court of the other state because a court of this state is a more convenient forum under section 452.770.

2. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state, prior to hearing a child custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information supplied by the parties under section 452.780. If the court determines that a child custody proceeding was previously commenced in a court in another state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with sections 452.700 to 452.930, the court of this state shall stay its proceeding and communicate with the court of the other state. If the court of the state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with sections 452.700 to 452.930 does not determine that the court of this state is a more appropriate forum, the court of this state shall dismiss the proceeding.

3. In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a court of this state shall determine if a proceeding to enforce the determination has been commenced in another state. If a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination has been commenced in another state, the court may:

(1) Stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;

(2) Enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement; or

(3) Proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Inconvenient forum.

452.770. 1. A court of this state that has jurisdiction under sections 452.700 to 452.930 to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if the court determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the court's own motion, at the request of another court or upon motion of a party.

2. Before determining whether the court is an inconvenient forum, a court of this state shall consider whether it is appropriate that a court of another state exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

(2) The length of time the child has resided outside this state;

(3) The distance between the court in this state and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;

(4) The relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;

(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including the testimony of the child;

(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and

(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues of the pending litigation.

3. If a court of this state determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, the court shall stay the proceedings on the condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

4. A court of this state may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under sections 452.700 to 452.930 if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct.

452.775. 1. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, if a court of this state has jurisdiction under sections 452.700 to 452.930 because a person invoking the jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

(1) The parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;

(2) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750 determines that this state is a more appropriate forum under section 452.770; or

(3) No other state would have jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750.

2. If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection 1 of this section, the court may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the wrongful conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.750.

3. If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection 1 of this section, the court shall charge the party invoking the jurisdiction of the court with necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs or expenses against this state except as otherwise provided by law other than sections 452.700 to 452.930.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Information to be submitted to court.

452.780. 1. Subject to local law providing for the confidentiality of procedures, addresses, and other identifying information, in a child custody proceeding each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child's present address, the places where the child has lived during the last five years, and the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during such period. The pleading or affidavit shall state whether the party:

(1) Has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and, if so, identify the court, case number of the proceeding and date of the child custody determination, if any;

(2) Knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court and case number and nature of the proceeding; and

(3) Knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names and addresses of such persons.

2. If the information required by subsection 1 of this section is not furnished, the court, upon its own motion or that of a party, may stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.

3. If the declaration as to any of the items described in subdivisions (1) to (3) of subsection 1 of this section is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court's jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.

4. Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.

5. If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information, that information shall be sealed and not disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, or liberty of the party or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interest of justice.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Joinder of a party.

452.782. If the court learns from information furnished by the parties under section 452.800 or from other sources that a person not a party to the custody proceeding has physical custody of the child or claims to have custody or visitation rights with respect to the child, it may order that person to be joined as a party and to be duly notified of the pendency of the proceeding and of his or her joinder as a party. If the person joined as a party is outside this state, such person shall be served with process or otherwise notified in accordance with section 452.762.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Appearance of parties and child.

452.785. 1. The court may order any party to the proceeding who is in this state to appear before the court personally. If the court finds the physical presence of the child to be in the best interest of the child, the court may order that the party who has physical custody of the child to appear physically with the child.

2. If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this state, with or without the child, the court may order that a notice given under section 452.762 include a statement directing the party to appear personally with or without the child.

3. If a party to the proceeding who is outside this state is directed to appear under subsection 1 of this section or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay to the clerk of the court travel and other necessary expenses of the party so appearing and of the child, if this is just and proper under the circumstances.

4. If the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child that a guardian ad litem be appointed, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem so appointed shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. Disqualification of a guardian ad litem shall be ordered in any legal proceeding under this chapter upon the filing of a written application by any party within ten days of appointment. Each party shall be entitled to one disqualification of a guardian ad litem appointed under this subsection in each proceeding, except a party may be entitled to additional disqualifications of a guardian ad litem for good cause shown. The guardian ad litem may, for the purpose of determining custody of the child only, participate in the proceeding as if such guardian ad litem were a party. The court shall enter judgment allowing a reasonable fee to the guardian ad litem.

5. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.

6. The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Effect of child custody determination.

452.790. A child custody determination made by a court of this state that had jurisdiction under sections 452.700 to 452.930 binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this state or notified in accordance with section 452.762 or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. The determination is conclusive as to them as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Full faith and credit.

452.795. A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to an order made consistently with sections 452.700 to 452.930 which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another state unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court authorized to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Modification of another court's determination.

452.800. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.755, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of section 452.740 and:

(1) The court of the other state determines that it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under section 452.745 or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under section 452.770; or

(2) A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that neither child, nor a parent, nor any person acting as a parent presently resides in the other state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Filing of certified copy of custody decree.

452.805. 1. A certified copy of a custody decree of another state may be filed in the office of the clerk of any circuit court of this state. The clerk shall treat the decree in the same manner as a custody decree of the circuit court of this state. A custody decree so filed has the same effect and shall be enforced in like manner as a custody decree rendered by a court of this state.

2. A person violating a custody decree of another state which makes it necessary to enforce the decree in this state may be required to pay necessary travel and other expenses, including attorneys' fees, incurred by the party entitled to the custody or the party's witnesses.

3. A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court exercised jurisdiction that was in substantial conformity with sections 452.700 to 452.930 or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of sections 452.700 to 452.930 and the determination has not been modified in accordance with sections 452.700 to 452.930.

4. A court may utilize any remedy available under other law of this state to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state. The procedure provided by sections 452.740 to 452.845 does not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Registration of child custody determination.

452.810. 1. A child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this state, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the appropriate court in this state:

(1) A letter or other document requesting registration;

(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and

(3) Except as otherwise provided in section 452.780, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.

2. On receipt of the documents required in subsection 1 of this section, the registering court shall:

(1) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and

(2) Serve notice upon the persons named under subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of this section and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

3. The notice required by subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section must state:

(1) That a registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this state;

(2) That a hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within twenty days after service of notice; and

(3) That failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

4. A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order must request a hearing within twenty days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:

(1) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.845;

(2) The child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845; or

(3) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 452.740 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

5. If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.

6. Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter which could have been asserted at the time of registration.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Forwarding copies of decrees.

452.815. The clerk of the circuit court of this state, at the request of the court of another state or at the request of any person who is affected by or has a legitimate interest in a custody decree, may, upon payment therefor, certify and forward a copy of the decree to that court or person.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Testimony of witnesses.

452.820. 1. In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this state for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.

2. A court of this state may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state. A court of this state shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

3. Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this state by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Request for another court to hold hearing.

452.825. 1. A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to hold a hearing to obtain evidence, to order persons within that state to produce or give evidence under other procedures of that state, or to have social studies made with respect to the custody of a child involved in proceedings pending in the court of this state; and to forward to the court of this state certified copies of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise obtained, or any social studies prepared in compliance with the request. The cost of the services may be assessed against the parties.

2. A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to order a party to custody proceedings pending in the court of this state to appear in the proceedings and, if that party has physical custody of the child, to appear with the child. The request may state that travel and other necessary expenses of the party and of the child whose appearance is desired will be assessed against the appropriate party.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Appearance at hearing.

452.830. 1. Upon request of the court of another state, the courts of this state which are competent to hear custody matters may order a person in this state to appear at a hearing to obtain evidence or to produce or give evidence under other procedures available in this state for use in a custody proceeding in another state. A certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing or the evidence otherwise obtained may, in the discretion of the court and upon payment therefor, be forwarded to the requesting court.

2. A person within this state may voluntarily give his testimony or statement in this state for use in a custody proceeding outside this state.

3. Upon request of the court of another state, a competent court of this state may order a person in this state to appear alone or with the child in a custody proceeding in another state. The court may condition compliance with the request upon assurance by the other state that travel and other necessary expenses will be advanced or reimbursed.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Preservation of documents.

452.835. A court of this state shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child reaches eighteen years of age. Upon appropriate request by the court or law enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward certified copies of these records.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Transfer of transcripts and documents.

452.840. If a custody decree has been rendered in another state concerning a child involved in a custody proceeding pending in a court of this state, the court of this state, upon taking jurisdiction of the case, shall request of the court of the other state a certified copy of the transcript of any court record and other documents mentioned in section 452.835.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Priority of jurisdictional question.

452.845. If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under sections 452.700 to 452.930 is raised in a child custody proceeding, the question, upon request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Definitions.

452.850. As used in sections 452.850 to 452.915:

(1) "Petitioner" means a person who seeks enforcement of a child custody determination or enforcement of an order for the return of the child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

(2) "Respondent" means a person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of a child custody determination or enforcement of an order for the return of the child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Temporary visitation.

452.855. 1. Sections 452.850 to 452.915 may be invoked to enforce:

(1) A child custody determination; and

(2) An order for the return of the child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

2. A court of this state which does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order enforcing:

(1) A visitation schedule made by a court of another state; or

(2) The visitation provisions of a child custody determination of another state that does not provide for a specific visitation schedule.

3. If a court of this state makes an order under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the court shall specify in the order a period of time which it considers adequate to allow the person seeking the order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.845. The order remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state or the period expires.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Enforcement of registered determination.

452.860. 1. A court of this state may grant any relief normally available under the provisions of the laws of this state to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

2. A court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but shall not modify, except in accordance with sections 452.740 to 452.845, a registered child custody determination of another state.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Simultaneous proceeding.

452.865. If a proceeding for enforcement under sections 452.850 to 452.915 has been or is commenced in this state and a court of this state determines that a proceeding to modify the determination has been commenced in another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under sections 452.740 to 452.845, the enforcing court shall immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Expedited enforcement of child custody determination.

452.870. 1. A petition under sections 452.850 to 452.915 shall be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of the order confirming registration, if any, shall be attached to the petition. A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

2. A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination shall state:

(1) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;

(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court whose decision shall be enforced under sections 452.700 to 452.930 or federal law and, if so, identify the court, case number of the proceeding and action taken;

(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights and adoptions, and, if so, identify the court, and the case number and nature of the proceeding;

(4) The present physical address of the child and respondent, if known; and

(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney's fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief sought.

3. If the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under section 452.810, the petition shall also state the date and place of registration.

4. The court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child.

5. The hearing shall be held on the next judicial day following service of process unless such date is impossible. In such event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.

6. The order shall state the time and place of the hearing, and shall advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order the delivery of the child and payment of fees, costs and expenses under section 452.890, and may set an additional hearing to determine if further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:

(1) The child custody determination is not registered and confirmed under section 452.810, and:

(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.845;

(b) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845 or federal law; or

(c) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 452.762 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or

(2) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under section 452.810, but has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845 or federal law.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Service of petition and order.

452.875. Except as otherwise provided in section 452.885, the petition and order shall be served by any method authorized by the laws of this state upon the respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Hearing and order.

452.880. 1. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under section 452.755, upon a finding that a petitioner is entitled to the physical custody of the child immediately, the court shall order the child delivered to the petitioner unless the respondent establishes that:

(1) The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under section 452.810, and that:

(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 452.740 to 452.845;

(b) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845 or federal law; or

(c) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 452.762 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or

(2) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under section 452.810, but has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845 or federal law.

2. The court shall award the fees, costs and expenses authorized under section 452.890 and may grant additional relief, including a request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and set a further hearing to determine if additional relief is appropriate.

3. If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the grounds that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an adverse inference from such refusal.

4. A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife, or parent and child shall not be invoked in a proceeding under sections 452.850 to 452.915.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Warrant to take physical custody of child.

452.885. 1. Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is likely to suffer serious imminent physical harm or removal from this state.

2. If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other witnesses, finds that the child is likely to suffer serious imminent physical harm or be imminently removed from this state, the court may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child. The petition shall be heard on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed. The warrant shall include the statements required under subsection 2 of section 452.870.

3. A warrant to take physical custody of a child shall:

(1) Recite the facts which a conclusion of serious imminent physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;

(2) Direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately; and

(3) Provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

4. The respondent shall be served with the petition, warrant and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

5. A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this state. If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If required by the exigency of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

6. The court may impose conditions on the placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child's custodian.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Costs, fees, and expenses.

452.890. 1. The court shall award the prevailing party, including a state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate.

2. The court shall not assess fees, costs or expenses against a state except as otherwise provided by law other than sections 452.700 to 452.930.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Recognition and enforcement.

452.895. A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to an order made consistently with sections 452.700 to 452.930 which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another state unless the order has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court authorized to do so under sections 452.740 to 452.845.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Appeals.

452.900. An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding under sections 452.850 to 452.915 in accordance with appellate procedures in other civil cases. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under section 452.755, the enforcing court shall not stay an order enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Role of prosecutor or public official.

452.905. 1. In a case arising under sections 452.700 to 452.930 or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the appropriate public official may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under sections 452.850 to 452.915 or any other available civil proceeding to locate a child, obtain the return of a child or enforce a child custody determination if there is:

(1) An existing child custody determination;

(2) A request from a court in a pending child custody case;

(3) A reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or

(4) A reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

2. A prosecutor or an appropriate public official shall act on behalf of the court and shall not represent any party to a child custody determination.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Role of law enforcement.

452.910. At the request of a prosecutor or other appropriate public official acting under section 452.905, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist such prosecutor or public official with responsibilities under section 452.905.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Costs and expenses.

452.915. If the respondent is not the prevailing party, the court may assess against the respondent all direct expenses and costs incurred by the prosecutor or other appropriate public official and law enforcement officers under sections 452.905 and 452.910.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Application and construction.

452.920. In applying and construing sections 452.700 to 452.930, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Severability clause.

452.925. If any provision of sections 452.700 to 452.930 or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of sections 452.700 to 452.930 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of sections 452.700 to 452.930 are severable.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)



Transitional provision.

452.930. A motion or other request for relief made in a child custody or enforcement proceeding which was commenced before August 28, 2009, is governed by the law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)

Chapter 454
Enforcement of Support Law

August 28, 2009




Purposes.

454.010. The purposes of sections 454.010 to 454.360 are to improve and extend by reciprocal legislation the enforcement of duties of support and to make uniform the law with respect thereto.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)

(1957) The Uniform Support of Dependents' Law is not violative of the due process or retrospective law provisions of the constitution. Ivey v. Ayers (Mo.), 301 S.W.2d 790.



Definitions.

454.020. In sections 454.010 to 454.360 unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Certification" shall be in accordance with the laws of the certifying state.

(2) "Court" means the circuit court of this state and, when the context requires, means the court of any other state as defined in a substantially similar reciprocal law.

(3) "Duty of support" includes any duty of support imposed or imposable by law, or by any court order, decree or judgment, whether interlocutory or final, whether incidental to a proceeding for divorce, legal separation, separate maintenance or otherwise, and includes the duty to pay arrearages of support payments which are past due and unpaid.

(4) "Governor" includes any person performing the functions of governor or the executive authority of any territory covered by the provisions of sections 454.010 to 454.360.

(5) "Initiating court" means the court in which a proceeding is commenced.

(6) "Initiating state" means any state in which a proceeding pursuant to this or a substantially similar reciprocal law is commenced.

(7) "Law" includes both common and statute law.

(8) "Obligee" means any person to whom a duty of support is owed and a state or political subdivision thereof.

(9) "Obligor" means any person owing a duty of support.

(10) "Register" means to file in the Registry of Foreign Support Orders as required by the court.

(11) "Registering court" means any court of this state in which the support order of the rendering state is registered.

(12) "Rendering state" means any state in which a support order is originally entered.

(13) "Responding court" means the court in which the responsive proceeding is commenced.

(14) "Responding state" means any state in which any proceeding pursuant to the proceeding in the initiating state is or may be commenced.

(15) "State" includes any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any foreign jurisdiction in which this or a substantially similar reciprocal law has been enacted.

(16) "Support order" means any judgment, decree or order of support, whether temporary or final, whether subject to modification, revocation or remission, regardless of the kind of action in which it is entered.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Remedies additional to those now existing.

454.030. The remedies herein provided are in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedies.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Extent of duties of support.

454.040. Duties of support arising under the law of this state, when applicable under section 454.070, bind the obligor, present in this state, regardless of the presence or residence of the obligee.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Interstate rendition.

454.050. The governor of this state may:

(1) Demand from the governor of any other state the surrender of any person found in such other state who is charged in this state with the crime of failing to provide for the support of any person in this state;

(2) Surrender on demand by the governor of any other state any person found in this state who is charged in such other state with the crime of failing to provide for the support of any person in such other state. The provisions for extradition of criminals not inconsistent herewith shall apply to any such demand although the person whose surrender is demanded was not in the demanding state at the time of the commission of the crime and although he had not fled therefrom. Neither the demand, the oath nor any proceedings for extradition pursuant to this section need state or show that the person whose surrender is demanded has fled from justice, or at the time of the commission of the crime was in the demanding or other state.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)

(1962) Writ of prohibition issued to prevent circuit court from exercising further jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceeding wherein petitioner challenged extradition proceedings on ground of unconstitutionality of foreign statute under which he was charged. State ex rel. Anderson v. Weinstein (Mo.), 359 S.W.2d 355.



Conditions of interstate rendition.

454.060. 1. Before making the demand on the governor of any other state for the surrender of a person charged in this state with the crime of failing to provide for the support of any person, the governor of this state may require any prosecuting attorney of this state to satisfy him that at least sixty days prior thereto the obligee brought an action for the support under sections 454.010 to 454.360, or that the bringing of an action would be of no avail.

2. When under this or a substantially similar law, a demand is made upon the governor of this state by the governor of another state for the surrender of a person charged in the other state with the crime of failing to provide support, the governor may call upon any prosecuting attorney to investigate or assist in investigating the demand, and to report to him whether any action for support has been brought under sections 454.010 to 454.360 or would be effective.

3. If an action for the support would be effective and no action has been brought, the governor may delay honoring the demand for a reasonable time to permit prosecution of an action for support.

4. If an action for support has been brought and the person demanded has prevailed in that action, the governor may decline to honor the demand.

5. If an action for support has been brought and pursuant thereto the person demanded is subject to a support order, the governor may decline to honor the demand so long as the person demanded is complying with the support order.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Choice of law.

454.070. Duties of support applicable under this law are those imposed or imposable under the laws of any state where the obligor was present during the period for which support is sought. The obligor is presumed to have been present in the responding state during the period for which support is sought until otherwise shown.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)

(1956) Where Florida divorce decree referred to and approved agreement fixing duty of support of children and ordered parties to carry out its terms, it constituted a valid judgment imposing a duty of support enforceable under this law. State ex rel. Whatley v. Mueller (A.), 288 S.W.2d 405.



Remedies of state or subdivision furnishing support.

454.080. Whenever the state or a political subdivision thereof furnishes support to an obligee, it has the same right to invoke the provisions hereof as the obligee to whom the support was furnished for the purpose of securing reimbursement of expenditures so made and of obtaining continuing support. The state also may recover arrearages owed to the obligee under a court order or judgment and assigned to the state as a condition of eligibility for benefits under the aid to families with dependent children program.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Enforcement irrespective of relation of parties.

454.090. All duties of support, including the duty to pay arrearages, are enforceable by a proceeding under the provisions of sections 454.010 to 454.360, including a proceeding for civil contempt. The defense that the parties are immune to suit because of their relationship as husband and wife or parent and child is not available to the obligor.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Jurisdiction--circuit judge to hear proceedings--exception.

454.100. Jurisdiction of all proceedings hereunder is vested in the circuit court. Such proceedings shall be heard by a circuit judge, except that said proceedings may be heard by an associate circuit judge if he is assigned to hear such case or class of cases or if he is transferred to hear such case or class of cases pursuant to other provisions of law or section 6 of article V of the constitution.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634)

Effective 1-2-79



Jurisdiction of court, limited, how.

454.105. Participation in any proceeding under sections 454.010 to 454.360* does not confer jurisdiction upon any court over any of the parties thereto in any other proceeding.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468)

*Original rolls contain words "this act". The act (S.B. 468, 1982) contains numerous sections. Consult Disposition of Sections table for definitive listing.



Contents of petition for support.

454.110. The petition shall be verified and shall state the name and, so far as known to the plaintiff, the address and circumstances of the defendant and his dependents for whom support is sought and all other pertinent information. The plaintiff may include in or attach to the petition any information which may help in locating or identifying the defendant such as a photograph of the defendant, a description of any distinguishing marks of his person, other names and aliases by which he has been or is known, the name of his employer, his fingerprints, or Social Security number.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Prosecuting attorney to represent plaintiff, when.

454.120. The prosecuting attorney upon the request of the court or of the state division of family services shall represent the plaintiff in any proceeding under sections 454.010 to 454.360.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Petition for a minor.

454.130. A petition on behalf of a minor obligee may be brought by a person having legal custody of the minor without appointment as guardian ad litem.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Duty of court of this state as initiating state.

454.140. If the court of this state acting as an initiating state finds that the petition sets forth facts from which it may be determined that the defendant owes a duty of support and that a court of the responding state may obtain jurisdiction of the defendant or his property, it shall so certify and shall cause three copies of (1) the petition, (2) its certificate and (3) sections 454.010 to 454.360 to be transmitted to the court in the responding state. If the name and address of such court is unknown and the responding state has an information agency comparable to that established in the initiating state it shall cause such copies to be transmitted to the state information agency or other proper official of the responding state, with a request that it forward them to the proper court, and that the court of the responding state acknowledge their receipt to the court of the initiating state.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Costs and fees.

454.150. An initiating court shall not require the payment of either a filing fee or other costs from the obligee, but may request the responding court to collect fees and costs from the obligor. A responding court shall not require the payment of a filing fee or other costs from the obligee, but it may direct that all fees and costs requested by the initiating court and incurred in this state when acting as a responding state be paid in whole or in part by the obligor or by the appropriate county of the initiating state. These costs or fees do not have priority over amounts due to the obligee.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction by arrest.

454.160. If a court of this state believes that the obligor may flee, it may:

(1) As an initiating court, request in its certificate that the responding court obtain the body of the obligor by appropriate process; or

(2) As a responding court, obtain the body of the obligor by appropriate process. Thereupon it may release him upon his own recognizance or upon his giving a bond in an amount set by the court to assure his appearance at the hearing.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468)



State information agency, duties.

454.170. The division of family services is hereby designated as the "state information agency" under sections 454.010 to 454.360, and it shall:

(1) Compile a list of the courts and their addresses in this state having jurisdiction under sections 454.010 to 454.360 and transmit the same to the state information agency of every other state which has adopted this or a substantially similar law, and

(2) Maintain a register of such lists received from other states and transmit copies thereof as soon as possible after receipt to every court in this state having jurisdiction under sections 454.010 to 454.360.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Duty of court and officials of this state as responding state.

454.180. 1. After the court of this state acting as a responding state has received from the court of the initiating state the aforesaid copies the clerk of the court shall docket the cause and notify the prosecuting attorney of his action.

2. It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney diligently to prosecute the case. He shall take all action necessary in accordance with the laws of this state to give the court jurisdiction of the defendant or his property and shall request the court to set a time and place for a hearing.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)

(1956) Where Florida divorce decree referred to and approved agreement fixing duty of support of children and ordered parties to carry out its terms, it constituted a valid judgment imposing a duty of support enforceable under this law. State ex rel. Whatley v. Mueller (A.), 288 S.W.2d 405.

(1956) Where divorce decree in this state required defendant husband to make payments for support of his minor children, the jurisdiction of divorce court over such children was continuous and exclusive, so that another circuit court in this state could not acquire jurisdiction of support proceeding under this law. Welch v. McIntosh (A.), 290 S.W.2d 181.

(1958) Cross bill for divorce cannot be entertained as defense under chapter 454, RSMo. State ex rel. Schwartz v. Buder (A.), 315 S.W.2d 867.



Prosecuting attorney to trace defendant--transmission of proceedings.

454.190. 1. The prosecuting attorney shall, on his own initiative, use all means at his disposal to trace the defendant or his property and if, due to inaccuracies of the petition or otherwise, the court cannot obtain jurisdiction, the prosecuting attorney shall inform the court of what he has done and request the court to continue the case pending receipt of more accurate information or an amended petition from the court in the initiating state.

2. If the defendant or his property is not found in the county and the prosecuting attorney discovers by any means that the defendant or his property may be found in another county of this state or in another state he shall so inform the court and thereupon the clerk of the court shall forward the documents received from the court in the initiating state to a court in the other county or to a court in the other state or to the information agency or other proper official of the other state with a request that it forward the documents to the proper court. Thereupon both the court of the other county and any court of this state receiving the documents and the prosecuting attorney have the same powers and duties under sections 454.010 to 454.360 as if the documents had been originally addressed to them. When the clerk of a court of this state retransmits documents to another court, he shall notify forthwith the court from which the documents came.

3. If the prosecuting attorney has no information as to the whereabouts of the obligor or his property he shall so inform the initiating court.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Duty to support, hearing to determine, evidence allowed, defenses allowed--paternity, how adjudicated.

454.200. 1. If the obligee is not present at the hearing and the obligor denies owing the duty of support alleged in the petition or offers evidence constituting a defense, the court, upon the request of either party, shall continue the hearing to permit evidence relative to the duty of support to be introduced by either party by deposition or by appearing in person before the court. The court may designate the judge of the initiating court as a person before whom a deposition may be taken.

2. If the action is based on a support order issued by another court, a certified copy of the order shall be received as evidence of the duty of support, subject only to any defenses available to an obligor with respect to paternity or to a defendant in an action or a proceeding to enforce a foreign money judgment.

3. If the obligor asserts as a defense that he is not the father of the child for whom support is sought and it appears to the court that the defense is not frivolous, and, if both of the parties are present at the hearing or the proof required in the case indicates that the presence of either or both of the parties is not necessary, the court may adjudicate the paternity issue; otherwise, the court may adjourn the hearing until the paternity issue has been adjudicated.

4. In any proceeding under sections 454.010 to 454.360 in which paternity is at issue, the provisions of sections 210.822 and 210.834, RSMo, shall apply.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508)

Effective 7-1-94



Evidence of husband and wife.

454.210. Laws attaching a privilege against the disclosure of communications between husband and wife are inapplicable to proceedings under sections 454.010 to 454.360. Husband and wife are competent witnesses to testify to any relevant matter, including marriage and parentage.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Order of support.

454.220. If the court of the responding state finds a duty of support, it may order the defendant to furnish support or reimbursement therefor and subject the property of the defendant to such order.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Copy of orders of support transmitted to initiating state.

454.230. The court of this state when acting as a responding state shall cause to be transmitted to the court of the initiating state a copy of all orders of support or for reimbursement therefor.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Additional powers of court.

454.240. In addition to the foregoing powers, the court of this state when acting as the responding state has the power to subject the defendant to such terms and conditions as the court may deem proper to assure compliance with its orders and in particular:

(1) To require the defendant to furnish recognizance in the form of a cash deposit or bond of such character and in such amount as the court may deem proper to assure payment of any amount required to be paid by the defendant;

(2) To require the defendant to make payments at specified intervals to the clerk of the court and to report personally to such clerk at such times as may be deemed necessary;

(3) To punish the defendant who shall violate any order of the court to the same extent as is provided by law for contempt of the court in any other suit or proceeding cognizable by the court; and

(4) To impose a withholding order against the wages or other income of the defendant pursuant to section 452.350, RSMo.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834)



Duties of clerk when acting as responding state.

454.250. The court of this state when acting as a responding state shall have the following duties which may be carried out through the clerk of the court:

(1) Upon the receipt of a payment made by the defendant pursuant to any order of the court or otherwise, to transmit the same forthwith to the court of the initiating state, and

(2) Upon request, to furnish to the court of the initiating state a certified statement of all payments made by the defendant.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Clerk to disburse payments by defendant from responding state.

454.260. The courts of this state when acting as an initiating state shall have the duty which may be carried out through the clerk of the court to receive and disburse forthwith all payments made by the defendant or transmitted by the court of the responding state.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Proceedings not to be stayed--support order pendente lite, when.

454.270. A responding court shall not stay the proceeding or refuse a hearing under the provisions contained in sections 454.010 to 454.360 because of any pending or prior action or proceeding for divorce, separation, annulment, dissolution, habeas corpus, adoption, or custody in this or any other state. The court shall hold a hearing and may issue a support order pendente lite. In aid thereof, it may require the obligor to give a bond for the prompt prosecution of the pending proceeding. If the other action or proceeding is concluded before the hearing in the instant proceeding and the judgment therein provides for the support demanded in the petition pending, the court before which such petition is pending may conform its support order to the amount allowed in the other action or proceeding. Thereafter, such court shall not stay enforcement of its support order because of the retention of jurisdiction for enforcement purposes by the court in the other action or proceeding.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Appeal of support order by director, when.

454.275. If the director of the division of family services is of the opinion that a support order is erroneous and presents a question of law warranting an appeal in the public interest, he may perfect an appeal to the proper appellate court if the support order was issued by a court of this state.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Application of payments.

454.280. No order of support issued by a court of this state when acting as a responding state shall supersede any other order of support but the amounts for a particular period paid pursuant to either order shall be credited against amounts accruing or accrued for the same period under both.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Additional remedies.

454.290. If the duty of support is based on a foreign support order, the obligee has the additional remedies provided in the following sections.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Registration.

454.300. The obligee may register the foreign support order in a court of this state in the manner, with the effect and for the purposes herein provided.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Registry of foreign support orders.

454.310. The clerk of the court shall maintain a Registry of Foreign Support Orders in which he shall file foreign support orders.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Petition for registration.

454.320. The petition for registration shall be verified and shall set forth the amount remaining unpaid and a list of any other states in which the support order is registered and shall have attached to it a certified copy of the support order with all modifications thereof. The foreign support order is registered upon the filing of the petition subject only to subsequent order of confirmation.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Jurisdiction and procedure.

454.330. The procedure to obtain jurisdiction of the person or property of the obligor shall be as provided in civil cases. The obligor may assert any defense available to a defendant in an action on a foreign judgment. If the obligor defaults, the court shall enter an order confirming the registered support order and determining the amounts remaining unpaid. If the obligor appears and a hearing is held, the court shall adjudicate the issues including the amounts remaining unpaid.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Effect and enforcement.

454.340. The support order as confirmed shall have the same effect and may be enforced as if originally entered in the court of this state. The procedures for the enforcement thereof shall be as in civil cases.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118)



Uniformity of interpretation.

454.350. This law shall be so construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118 454.360)



Provisions of law applicable, when--court has duties of a responding state, when.

454.355. The provisions contained in sections 454.010 to 454.360 apply if both the obligee and the obligor are in this state but in different counties, or if both the obligor and obligee are residents of the same county. If the court of the county in which the petition is filed finds that the petition sets forth facts from which it may be determined that the obligor owes a duty of support and finds that a court of another county in this state may obtain jurisdiction over the obligor or his property, the clerk of the court shall send the petition and a certification of the findings to the court of the county in which the obligor or his property is found. The clerk of the court of the county receiving these documents shall notify the prosecuting attorney of their receipt. The prosecuting attorney and the court in the county to which the copies are forwarded shall then have duties corresponding to those imposed upon them when acting for this state as a responding state, including, but not limited to, the registration of an order for support entered by another court within this state. Such a registered order shall have the same effect and may be enforced as if originally entered by the court of the responding county.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468)



Short title.

454.360. Sections 454.010 to 454.360 may be cited as the "Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Law". In all cases filed by Missouri or received by Missouri under the provisions of the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, sections 454.010 to 454.360, prior to January 1, 1997, the provisions of the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, sections 454.010 to 454.360, shall continue to apply. In all other cases, the provisions of the uniform interstate family support act, sections 454.850 to 454.980, shall apply.

(L. 1959 S.B. 118 454.370, A.L. 1996 H.B. 992)



Enforcing a support order from another state, response to a request, contents of the request.

454.390. The division shall use high-volume automated administrative enforcement, to the same extent as used in intrastate cases, in response to a request made by another state child support agency to enforce a support order and promptly report the results to the requesting state. If the division provides assistance to another state in such a case, neither this state nor the requesting state shall consider the case to be transferred to its caseload, but the division may establish a corresponding case based on such other state's request for assistance. The division shall maintain records of the number of such interstate requests for assistance, the number of cases for which support was collected and the amounts of such collections. The division is authorized to transmit to another state, by electronic or other means, a request for assistance in a case involving the enforcement of a support order. Such request shall:

(1) Include information to enable the receiving state to compare the information about the case to the information in state databases; and

(2) Constitute a certification by the division of the arrearage amount under the order and that the division has complied with all applicable procedural due process requirements as provided for in this chapter.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



Forms for income withholding, liens and subpoenas.

454.395. When prescribed by the federal government, the division shall use the forms promulgated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 652(a)(11) for income withholding, imposition of liens and issuance of administrative subpoenas in interstate child support cases. Such forms, when received from the child support agency of another state, shall be enforceable as if issued by the division and shall be recognized as valid by any court, state agency, or officer or employee of the state or political subdivision of the state.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Division of child support enforcement established--duties, powers--rules, procedure.

454.400. 1. There is established within the department of social services the "Division of Child Support Enforcement" to administer the state plan for child support enforcement. The duty pursuant to the state plan to litigate or prosecute support actions shall be performed by the appropriate prosecuting attorney, or other attorney pursuant to a cooperative agreement with the department. The department shall fully utilize existing IV-A staff of the division of family services to perform child support enforcement duties approved by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and consistent with federal requirements as specified in P.L. 93-647 and 45 CFR, section 303.20.

2. In addition to the powers, duties and functions vested in the division of child support enforcement by other provisions of this chapter or by other laws of this state, the division of child support enforcement shall have the power:

(1) To sue and be sued;

(2) To make contracts and carry out the duties imposed upon it by this or any other law;

(3) To administer, disburse, dispose of and account for funds, commodities, equipment, supplies or services, and any kind of property given, granted, loaned, advanced to or appropriated by the state of Missouri for any of the purposes herein;

(4) To administer oaths, issue subpoenas for witnesses, examine such witnesses under oath, and make and keep a record of the same;

(5) To adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations necessary or desirable to carry out the provisions of this chapter and which are not inconsistent with the constitution or laws of this state;

(6) To cooperate with the United States government in matters of mutual concern pertaining to any duties wherein the division of child support enforcement is acting as a state agency, including the adoption of such methods of administration as are found by the United States government to be necessary for the efficient operation of the state plan hereunder;

(7) To make such reports in such form and containing such information as the United States government may, from time to time, require, and comply with such provisions as the United States government may, from time to time, find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(8) To appoint, when and if it may deem necessary, advisory committees to provide professional or technical consultation in respect to child support enforcement problems and program administration. The members of such advisory committees shall receive no compensation for their services other than expenses actually incurred in the performance of their official duties. The number of members of each such advisory committee shall be determined by the division of child support enforcement, and such advisory committees shall consult with the division of child support enforcement in respect to problems and policies incident to the administration of the particular function germane to their respective field of competence;

(9) To initiate or cooperate with other agencies in developing measures for the enforcement of support obligations;

(10) To collect statistics, make special fact-finding studies and publish reports in reference to child support enforcement;

(11) To establish or cooperate in research or demonstration projects relative to child support enforcement and the welfare program which will help improve the administration and effectiveness of programs carried on or assisted pursuant to the federal Social Security Act and the programs related thereto;

(12) To accept gifts and grants of any property, real or personal, and to sell such property and expend such gifts or grants not inconsistent with the administration of the state plan for child support enforcement and within the limitations of the donor thereof;

(13) To review every three years or such shorter cycle as the division may establish, upon the request of the obligee, the obligor or if there is an assignment under Part A of the federal Social Security Act, upon the request of the division, obligee or obligor taking into account the best interest of the child, the adequacy of child support orders in IV-D cases to determine whether modification is appropriate pursuant to the guidelines established by supreme court rule 88.01, to establish rules pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo, to define the procedure and frequency of such reviews, and to initiate proceedings for modification where such reviews determine that a modification is appropriate. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the division or its designees to represent the interests of an absent parent against the interests of a custodial parent or the state;

(14) To provide services relating to the establishment of paternity and the establishment, modification and enforcement of child support obligations. The division shall provide such services:

(a) Unless, as provided in this chapter, good cause or other exception exists, to each child for whom:

a. Assistance is provided under the state program funded under Part IV-A of the Social Security Act;

b. Benefits or services for foster care maintenance are provided under the state program funded under Part IV-E of the Social Security Act; or

c. Medical assistance is provided under the state plan approved under Title XIX of the Social Security Act; and

(b) To any other child, if an individual applies for such services with respect to such child;

(15) To enforce support obligations established with respect to:

(a) A child for whom the state provides services under the state plan for child support; or

(b) The custodial parent of a child;

(16) To enforce support orders against the parents of the noncustodial parent, jointly and severally, in cases where such parents have a minor child who is the parent and the custodial parent is receiving assistance under the state program funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act; and

(17) To prevent a child support debtor from fraudulently transferring property to avoid payment of child support. If the division has knowledge of such transfer, the division shall:

(a) Seek to void such transfer; or

(b) Obtain a settlement in the best interest of the child support creditor.

3. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to the authority of this chapter shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 536.024, RSMo.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 1, A.L. 1985 H.B. 814, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Power to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, compel witnesses and produce documents.

454.401. 1. In all actions relating to the establishment of paternity, or to the establishment, modification or enforcement of a support order instituted pursuant to this chapter or upon request of a IV-D agency of another state, the director of the division shall have the power to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, compel witnesses and to require the production of books, accounts, documents and evidence.

2. If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to subsection 1 of this section, the director may request the circuit court to issue an order requiring the person to appear before the director or the director's designee to produce such subpoenaed documentary evidence or give testimony. The court may issue an order which justice requires to protect such a person from undue annoyance, embarrassment, expense or oppression. If such person fails to comply with such an order, the court may find such person to be in contempt of court.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Equipment purchased by county for support enforcement to be property of county.

454.402. The provisions of law, rule or regulation notwithstanding, any equipment purchased by a county of this state for child support enforcement purposes shall be the property of the county and not the state.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479 4)



Social Security number required on all license, permit or certificate applications.

454.403. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, applicants for a professional, occupational or recreational license not coming under the purview of the division of professional registration shall be required by the appropriate licensing authority to provide the applicant's Social Security number on any application for a license, permit or certificate, or any renewal of a license, permit or certificate. The division of child support enforcement is authorized to coordinate with and assist with such licensing authorities to develop procedures to implement this requirement.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Enforcement of support obligations, counties to cooperate--agreements, contents, funding, cancellation--prosecuting attorneys, additional staff, funds.

454.405. 1. Each county shall cooperate with the division of child support enforcement in the enforcement of support obligations under the state plan by appropriating a sufficient sum of money for the offices of the prosecuting attorney or, by entering into a multiple county agreement to share the costs of enforcement of support obligations and appropriating sufficient funds for such enforcement, and by appropriating to the circuit clerk a sufficient sum to enable those offices to perform any duty imposed under this law or any other law with respect to the enforcement of support obligations or to the transmittal of support moneys to the division of child support enforcement for deposit in the state treasury to the credit of the child support enforcement fund.

2. The director of the division of child support enforcement shall enter into cooperative agreements with city or county governing bodies or officers, including, but not necessarily limited to, circuit courts, circuit clerks and prosecuting attorneys who choose to enter into a cooperative agreement, except that the director of the division of child support enforcement may, not less than sixty days prior to the expiration date of an existing cooperative agreement, notify a city or county governing body or officer that the division will not enter into a cooperative agreement because the city or county governing body or officer failed to comply with the terms of the existing cooperative agreement, or with rules established by the division pursuant to subsection 4 of this section. The notice shall be in writing and shall set forth the reason for not entering into a new cooperative agreement. The notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all city or county signatories of the existing cooperative agreement. Within thirty days of receipt of the notice, the city or county governing body or officer may submit to the director of the division of child support enforcement objections to the findings of the director, or a proposed plan to bring the city, county or officer into compliance. The director shall respond to the objections or the proposed plan prior to the expiration date of the existing cooperative agreement.

3. The cooperative agreements to be executed shall provide, as a minimum, for the following:

(1) For the governing body of the city or county to hire such additional stenographic, secretarial and administrative assistants as may be required to administer the child support enforcement program within that jurisdiction or, if the city or county is a participant in a multiple county agreement, to participate in the cost of the additional staff;

(2) For the city or county, upon recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, to hire such additional assistant prosecuting attorneys as may be required to administer the child support enforcement program within that jurisdiction or, if the city or county is a participant in a multiple county agreement, to participate in the cost of attorneys retained for that purpose;

(3) For the city or county to furnish office space and other administrative requirements for the proper administration of the child support enforcement program within that jurisdiction or, if the city or county is a participant in a multiple county agreement, to participate in the cost of the office space and other administrative requirements;

(4) For the reimbursement by the state from moneys received from the federal government of reasonable and necessary costs, as determined by the director of the division of child support enforcement, associated with enforcement of support obligations by the county or city or, if applicable, the multiple county unit, at the applicable rate, to be paid at least monthly if properly authenticated vouchers are submitted by the city or county. Payments shall be made no later than thirty days from the date of submission of the vouchers;

(5) For the city or county or, if applicable, the multiple county unit, to maintain financial and performance records required by federal regulation to be available for inspection by representatives of the department of social services, the state auditor, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services; and

(6) For the payment of incentive payments by the state from moneys received from the federal government as provided by the Social Security Act and federal and state regulations promulgated thereunder. The division of child support enforcement shall calculate and promptly pay to the city or county a basic incentive payment not less than the minimum incentive payment rate established by 45 CFR 303.52; provided, however, that the total amount paid as incentives for non-AFDC collections shall not exceed the total amount paid as incentives for AFDC collections, unless otherwise agreed upon in the cooperative agreement between the state and county or city. Incentive payments by the state to the counties shall not occur for any period during which the state does not receive incentive payments from the federal government.

4. The division of child support enforcement shall have the authority to promulgate rules pursuant to this section, section 454.400 and chapter 536, RSMo, in order to establish criteria for record keeping and performance relating to the effective administration of the child support enforcement program, which shall apply to a city or county office or officer, or multiple county unit, with whom a cooperative agreement is entered. The division may cancel a cooperative agreement with a city or county office if the office fails to comply with the rules established under this subsection, or fails to comply with the terms of the cooperative agreement. The division director shall notify the city or county governing body or officer in writing, setting forth the reason for the cancellation. Notice of cancellation shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all city or county signatories of the cooperative agreement, and shall be mailed at least sixty days prior to the effective date of cancellation. Within thirty days of receipt of the notice, the city or county governing body or officer may submit to the director of the division of child support enforcement objections to the findings of the director, or a proposed plan to bring the city, county or officer into compliance with the cooperative agreement or rules established under this subsection. The director shall respond to the objections or proposed plan prior to the effective date of cancellation.

5. At any time after the director determines not to enter into a cooperative agreement under subsection 2 of this section or cancels a cooperative agreement under subsection 4 of this section, the city or county governing body or officer may request that a new cooperative agreement be negotiated. At the time of the request, the city or county governing body or officer shall submit a proposed plan for compliance with a cooperative agreement or with rules established under this section. After the request and submission of the proposed plan, the director may enter into a cooperative agreement with the city or county governing body or officer. The cooperative agreement shall contain the provisions set out in subsection 3 of this section.

6. The limitations set out in chapter 56, RSMo, regarding the salaries and the number of assistant prosecuting attorneys and the stenographic or administrative personnel shall not apply, and the county or city governing body shall appropriate sufficient funds to compensate such additional staff or multiple county unit for implementing the provisions of the child support enforcement program.

7. With the approval of the city or county governing body and the director of the division of child support enforcement, and for the purpose of investigating the child support cases, the prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or multiple county unit may employ sufficient investigators to properly administer the provisions of the child support enforcement program.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 2, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52)



Duties of the division of child support enforcement.

454.408. The division of child support enforcement:

(1) Shall determine whether a person who has applied for or is receiving assistance from a program funded pursuant to Part A or Part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act, Title XIX of the Social Security Act or the Food Stamp Act is cooperating in good faith with the division in establishing the paternity of, or in establishing, modifying or enforcing a support order for any child of such person by providing the division with the name of the noncustodial parent or any other information the division may require. The division may, by regulation, excuse compliance with the provisions of this subsection on a case-by-case basis for good cause or other exceptions as the division may deem to be in the best interest of the child;

(2) Shall require as a condition of cooperation that such person supply additional information deemed necessary by the division and appear at any interviews, hearings or legal proceedings;

(3) Shall require as a condition of cooperation that such person and such person's child submit to genetic testing pursuant to a judicial or administrative order;

(4) May request that such person sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, after notice of the rights and consequences of such an acknowledgment, but may not require such person to sign an acknowledgment or otherwise relinquish the right to a genetic test as a condition of cooperation and eligibility for assistance from a state program funded pursuant to Part A or Part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act, Title XIX of the Social Security Act or the Food Stamp Act; and

(5) Shall promptly notify such person, the division of family services or the division of medical services of every determination made pursuant to this section, including a determination that such person is not cooperative and the basis for such determination.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Assignment of support rights, obligation to state, when.

454.410. Support rights assigned to the state shall constitute an obligation owed to the state by the person responsible for providing such support and the obligation shall be collectible pursuant to all legal processes.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 3, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97

CROSS REFERENCE:

Lottery winnings subject to delinquent child support payments, RSMo 313.321



State case registry established, records kept.

454.412. 1. The division shall establish a "State Case Registry" which shall contain records of:

(1) Each case in which services are provided by the division pursuant to this chapter; and

(2) Each support order established or modified in the state on or after October 1, 1998.

2. The records in the state case registry shall use standardized data elements for both parents, including, but not limited to, the names, Social Security numbers, other uniform identification numbers, dates of birth, case identification numbers and any other information as required by federal statutes and regulations.

3. The clerk of the circuit court shall be responsible for providing the division with data elements for each support order established or modified by the circuit court on or after October 1, 1998. The data shall be provided in a format established by the division and may be furnished electronically.

4. Information in the state case registry shall be furnished to the Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders established as provided for by 42 U.S.C. section 654A, and other federal and state agencies pursuant to federal statutes and regulations.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Filing with the state case registry, when.

454.413. 1. Each party to a paternity or child support proceeding establishing, modifying or enforcing a support order pursuant to chapter 210, RSMo, chapter 211, RSMo, chapter 452, RSMo, or this chapter, shall file with the state case registry upon entry of an order, information on the location and identity of such party including the party's Social Security number, residential address, mailing address, telephone number, driver's license number and the name, address and telephone number of the party's employer. If such information changes, such party shall provide the new information to the state case registry within thirty days of any such change.

2. In any subsequent child support enforcement action between the parties, the court or division shall deem that the due process requirements for notice and service of process are met with respect to such party upon a sufficient showing that diligent effort has been made to ascertain the location of a party including written notice by certified mail to the last known address of the party and attempted service by publication, and written notice has been delivered to the most recent residential or employer address of such party filed with the state case registry.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Definitions--assignment of support rights to family services, procedure--clerk of court or family support payment center made trustee, when, duties--termination of assignment, effect of.

454.415. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "IV-A agency" shall mean:

(1) An agency that has been designated by a state to administer programs pursuant to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act;

(2) An agency that has been designated by a state to administer programs pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act; or

(3) Any other entity entitled to receive and disburse child support payments in that state.

2. When a court has ordered support payments to a person who has made an assignment of support rights to the division of family services or the IV-A agency of another state on behalf of this or such other state, the division of child support enforcement shall notify the court.

(1) Until October 1, 1999, upon such notice, the court shall order all support payments to be made to the clerk of the court as trustee for the division of family services or the other state's IV-A agency, whichever is appropriate, as assignee of the support rights. The clerk shall forward all support payments to the department of social services, which payments have been identified by the department for deposit in the appropriate fund within the state treasury when assignments have been made to the division of family services. The clerk shall forward support payments to the other state's IV-D agency when assignments have been made to that state's IV-A agency. Notification to the court by the division of child support enforcement of the assignment of support rights shall, in and of itself, authorize the court to make the clerk trustee, notwithstanding any provision of any existing court order, statute, or other law to the contrary, and the court need not hold a hearing on the matter. The amount of the obligation owed to this state or the other state's IV-A agency shall be the amount specified in a court order which covers the assigned rights. The clerk shall keep an accurate record of such orders and such payments and shall note such assignment in the case file in such a manner as to make the fact of the assignment easily discernible.

(2) Effective October 1, 1999, support payments are to be made to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530 as trustee for the division of family services or other state's IV-A agency, whichever is appropriate, as assignee of the support rights. The payment center shall forward all support payments to the state, which payments have been identified by the division of child support enforcement for deposit in the appropriate fund within the state treasury when assignments have been made to the division of family services. The payment center shall forward support payments to the other state's IV-D agency when assignments have been made to that state's IV-A agency. Notification to the court by the division of child support enforcement of the assignment of support rights shall, in and of itself, make the payment center trustee, notwithstanding any provision of any existing court order or state law to the contrary, and the court shall not be required to hold a hearing on the matter. The amount of the obligation owed to this state or the other state's IV-A agency shall be the amount specified in a court order which covers the assigned rights. The payment center shall keep an accurate record of such orders and payments.

3. (1) Upon termination of the assignment for any case in which payments are not to be made to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530, the clerk of the court shall continue as trustee for the division of family services or the other state's IV-A agency for any accrued unpaid support at the time of the termination and as trustee for the obligee for any support becoming due after the termination. If there has been an assignment to the division of family services and there is no current assignment to another state's IV-A agency, the clerk of the court shall forward to the obligee all payments for support accruing subsequent to the termination and shall forward to the department of social services all payments for support which had accrued and were unpaid at the time of the termination. If there has been an assignment to another state's IV-A agency and there is no current assignment to the division of family services, the clerk of the court shall continue to forward to that state's IV-D agency all payments for support accruing subsequent to the termination of the assignment as well as all payments for support which had accrued and were unpaid at the time of the termination. When there has been an assignment to the division of family services, the clerk of the court shall apply payments first to support which has accrued subsequent to the termination, to the extent thereof, and then to support which accrued prior to termination, except such payments collected by the division of child support enforcement through debt setoff or legal process shall be forwarded to the department of social services, unless the department of social services directs otherwise. After termination of the assignment, the trusteeship may be dissolved upon motion of a party after notice and hearing on behalf of all parties to the proceeding or pursuant to subsections 3 to 7 of section 454.430. Prior to termination of the assignment, no motion may be filed, nor maintained, for the purpose of terminating or abating any trusteeship in favor of the division of family services or another state's IV-A agency.

(2) Effective October 1, 1999, upon termination of the assignment for any case in which payments are to be made to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530, the payment center shall continue as trustee for the division of family services or the other state's IV-A agency for any accrued unpaid support at the time of the termination and as trustee for the obligee for any support coming due after the termination. If there has been an assignment to the division of family services and there is no current assignment to another state's IV-A agency, the payment center shall forward to the obligee all payments for support which accrue after the termination and shall forward to the division of child support enforcement all payments for support which had accrued and were unpaid at the time of termination. If there has been an assignment to another state's IV-A agency and there is no current assignment to the division of family services, the payment center shall continue to forward to that state's IV-D agency all payments for support which accrue after the termination of the assignment as well as all payments for support which had accrued and were unpaid at the time of termination. If there has been an assignment to the division of family services, the payment center shall apply payments first to support which accrues after the termination, to the extent thereof, and then to support which accrued prior to termination; except that such payments collected by the division of child support enforcement through debt setoff or legal process shall be forwarded to the division of child support enforcement, unless the division directs otherwise. After termination of the assignment, the trusteeship may be dissolved upon motion of a party after notice and hearing on behalf of all parties to the proceeding or pursuant to subsections 3 to 7 of section 454.430. Prior to termination of the assignment, no motion shall be filed or maintained for the purpose of terminating or abating any trusteeship in favor of the division of family services or another state's IV-A agency.

4. For purposes of this section, "assignment" includes an assignment to the state by a person who has applied or is receiving assistance under a program funded pursuant to Part A of Title IV or Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 4, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Legal actions to establish or enforce support obligations, brought, by whom, procedure--assignment to family services terminates, when, effect--money collected, where deposited.

454.420. Any legal action necessary to establish or enforce support obligations owed to the state shall be brought by prosecuting attorneys, or other attorneys under cooperative agreement with the division of child support enforcement, upon being furnished notice by the division of such obligation. If the amount of the support obligation owed to the state has not been determined because no court order exists, the division of child support enforcement may refer the case to the appropriate prosecuting attorney, or other attorney under cooperative agreement with the division, for establishment and enforcement of a support order or order for reimbursement. When a recipient is no longer eligible for aid to families with dependent children benefits, the assignment shall terminate, unless the recipient and the division of child support enforcement agree otherwise, except for those unpaid support obligations still owing to the state under the assignment at the time of the discontinuance of aid. Upon referral from the division of child support enforcement, such unpaid obligations shall be collected by the prosecuting attorney, or other attorney under cooperative agreement with the division, up to the amount of unreimbursed aid paid by the division of family services prior to or after execution of the assignment of support rights. Moneys collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the department of social services for deposit in the child support enforcement fund in the state treasury.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 5, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479)



Support enforcement services by division of child support enforcement, when, for whom--fees, when allowed.

454.425. The division of child support enforcement shall render child support services authorized pursuant to this chapter to persons who are not recipients of public assistance as well as to such recipients. Services may be provided to children, custodial parents, noncustodial parents and other persons entitled to receive support. An application may be required by the division for services and fees may be charged by the division pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 654 and federal regulations. Services provided under a state plan shall be made available to residents of other states on the same terms as residents of this state. If a family receiving services ceases to receive assistance under a state program funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, the division shall provide appropriate notice to such family, and services shall continue under the same terms and conditions as that provided to other individuals under the state plan, except that an application for continued services shall not be required and the requirement for payment of fees shall not apply to the family.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 6, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



IV-D agency, defined--clerk of court or family support payment center to serve as trustee, when, duties--termination of trustee responsibilities by division, procedure.

454.430. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "IV-D agency" means an agency that has been designated by a state to administer programs pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act or any other entity entitled to receive and disburse child support payments in that state.

2. When a court has ordered support payments to a person who is receiving child support services pursuant to section 454.425, or pursuant to application for IV-D agency services in another state, the division of child support enforcement shall so notify the court. Until October 1, 1999, upon such notice the court shall order all support payments to be made to the clerk of the court as trustee for such person. The notification to the court by the division shall, in and of itself, authorize the court to make the clerk trustee, notwithstanding any provision of any existing court order, statute, or other law to the contrary, and the court need not hold a hearing on the matter. The clerk shall keep an accurate record of such orders and such payments, and shall report all such collections to the division in the manner specified by the division. The circuit clerk shall forward all such payments to the person receiving child support services pursuant to section 454.425, or to the IV-D agency in the state in which the person is currently receiving IV-D services, as appropriate. Effective October 1, 1999, upon notice by the division, all support payments shall be made to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530 as trustee for such person. The notification by the division shall, in and of itself, authorize the payment center pursuant to section 454.530 to be trustee, notwithstanding any provision of any existing court order or state law to the contrary, and the court shall not be required to hold a hearing on the matter. The payment center shall keep an accurate record of such orders and payments, and shall report all such collections to the division in a manner specified by the division. The payment center shall forward all such payments to the person receiving child support services pursuant to section 454.425 or to the IV-D agency in the state in which the person is currently receiving IV-D services, as appropriate.

3. The division is authorized to terminate trusteeship responsibilities for future support in IV-D cases pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section. If the division determines that the order no longer provides a continuing obligation for support or the custodial party is no longer receiving child support enforcement services, the division shall send a notice of its intent to terminate the trusteeship by regular mail to the custodial and noncustodial parties. The notice shall advise each party that unless written objection is received by the division within fifteen days of the date the notice is sent, the trusteeship for current support shall be terminated. Unless a party objects to the termination of the trusteeship in writing within the specified period, the division shall terminate the trusteeship for current support.

4. If an objection is filed by either party to the case, the trusteeship may be terminated for future support only upon the filing of a motion with the court in which the trusteeship is established and after notice to all parties and hearing on the motion.

5. If the requirements of subsection 3 of this section have been met, the trusteeship responsibilities for future support shall terminate. The trusteeship shall remain in effect only to the extent that payments are made to satisfy any accrued unpaid support that was due as of the date of* the notice. The notice shall, in and of itself, terminate the trusteeship responsibilities for future support, and the court need not hold a hearing on the matter.

6. Any party whose trusteeship is terminated pursuant to this section may reopen a trusteeship pursuant to section 452.345, RSMo.

7. Termination of a trusteeship pursuant to this section shall not, in and of itself, constitute a judicial determination as to the rights of a party to receive support or the obligation of a party to pay support pursuant to a support order entered in the case.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 7, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99

*Word "of" does not appear in original rolls.



Circuit clerk, recording of credits for amounts not received, restrictions, credits on state debt for job training and education, conditions and restrictions.

454.432. 1. The circuit clerk in a case that is not a IV-D case or the division in a IV-D case shall record credits on the automated child support system records established pursuant to this chapter or chapter 452, RSMo, for amounts not received by the clerk or the division.

2. Credits allowed pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, in-kind payments as provided in this section, amounts collected from an obligor from federal and state income tax refunds, state lottery payments, Social Security payments, unemployment and workers' compensation benefits, income withholdings authorized by law, liens, garnishment actions, abatements pursuant to section 452.340, RSMo, and any other amounts required to be credited by statute or case law.

3. Credits shall be recorded on the trusteeship record for payments received by the division of child support enforcement and, at the discretion of the division of child support enforcement, and upon receipt of waivers requested pursuant to subsection 4 of this section, credits may be given on state debt judgments obtained pursuant to subsection 1 of section 454.465 for completion of such activities as job training and education, if mutually agreed upon by the division and the obligor. The circuit clerk shall make such credits upon receipt of paper or electronic notification of the amount of the credit from the division. The division may record the credit or adjust the records to reflect payments and disbursements shown on the trusteeship record when the trusteeship record is contained or maintained in the automated child support system established in this chapter.

4. The director of the department of social services shall apply to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services for all waivers of requirements pursuant to federal law necessary to implement the provisions of subsection 3 of this section.

5. Credits shall be entered on the automated child support system for direct and in-kind payments received by the custodial parent when the custodial parent files an affidavit stating the particulars of the direct and in-kind payments to be credited on the court record with the circuit clerk; however, no such credits shall be entered for periods during which child support payments are assigned to the state pursuant to law. Such credits may include, but shall not be limited to, partial and complete satisfaction of judgment for support arrearages.

6. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit satisfaction of judgment as provided for in sections 511.570 to 511.620, RSMo, and by supreme court rule.

7. Application for the federal earned income tax credit shall, when applicable, be required as a condition of participating in the alternative child support credit programs of subsection 3 of this section.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 2, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1547 & 961, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Order of foreign courts, notification by division of child support enforcement, duties of circuit clerk--clerk or family support payment center trustee, duty to keep records.

454.433. 1. When a tribunal of another state as defined in section 454.850 has ordered support payments to a person who has made an assignment of child support rights to the division of family services or who is receiving child support services pursuant to section 454.425, the division of child support enforcement may notify the court of this state in the county in which the obligor, obligee or the child resides or works. Until October 1, 1999, upon such notice the circuit clerk shall accept all support payments and remit such payments to the person or entity entitled to receive the payments. Effective October 1, 1999, the division shall order the payment center to accept all support payments and remit such payments to the person or entity entitled to receive the payments.

2. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the notification to the court by the division shall authorize the court to make the clerk trustee. The clerk shall keep an accurate record of such payments and shall report all collections to the division in the manner specified by the division. Effective October 1, 1999, the duties of the clerk as trustee pursuant to this section shall terminate and all payments shall be made to the payment center pursuant to section 454.530.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Prosecuting attorneys, cooperative or multiple county agreement, duties--other attorneys may prosecute, when.

454.435. 1. Each prosecuting attorney may enter into a cooperative agreement or may enter into a multiple county agreement to litigate or prosecute any action necessary to secure support for any person referred to such office by the division of child support enforcement including, but not limited to, reciprocal actions under this chapter, actions to establish, modify and enforce support obligations, actions to enforce medical support obligations ordered in conjunction with a child support obligation, actions to obtain reimbursement for the cost of medical care provided by the state for which an obligor is liable under subsection 9 of section 208.215, RSMo, and actions to establish the paternity of a child for whom support is sought. In all cases where a prosecuting attorney seeks the establishment or modification of a support obligation, the prosecuting attorney shall, in addition to periodic monetary support, seek and enforce orders from the court directing the obligated parent to maintain medical insurance on behalf of the child for whom support is sought, which insurance shall, in the opinion of the court, be sufficient to provide adequate medical coverage; or to otherwise provide for such child's necessary medical expenses.

2. In all cases where a prosecuting attorney has entered into a cooperative agreement to litigate or prosecute an action necessary to secure child support, and an information is not filed or civil action commenced within sixty days of the receipt of the referral from the division, the division may demand return of the referral and the case filed and the prosecuting attorney shall return the referral and the case file. The division may then use any other attorney which it employs or with whom it has a cooperative agreement to establish or enforce the support obligation.

3. As used in this section, the term "prosecuting attorney" means, with reference to any city not within a county, the circuit attorney.

4. Prosecuting attorneys are hereby authorized to initiate judicial or administrative modification proceedings on IV-D cases at the request of the division.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 8, A.L. 1984 S.B. 675, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484 merged with S.B. 65, et al., A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1990 S.B. 834)



Definitions--child support enforcement may use parent locator service, when--financial entities to provide information, when, penalty for refusal, immunity--statement of absent parents, contents--prohibited acts, penalties--confidentiality of records, exceptions, penalties.

454.440. 1. As used in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:

(1) "Business" includes any corporation, partnership, association, individual, and labor or other organization including, but not limited to, a public utility or cable company;

(2) "Division", the Missouri division of child support enforcement of the department of social services;

(3) "Financial entity" includes any bank, trust company, savings and loan association, credit union, insurance company, or any corporation, association, partnership, or individual receiving or accepting money or its equivalent on deposit as a business;

(4) "Government agency", any department, board, bureau or other agency of this state or any political subdivision of the state;

(5) "Information" includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following items:

(a) Full name of the parent;

(b) Social Security number of the parent;

(c) Date of birth of the parent;

(d) Last known mailing and residential address of the parent;

(e) Amount of wages, salaries, earnings or commissions earned by or paid to the parent;

(f) Number of dependents declared by the parent on state and federal tax information and reporting forms;

(g) Name of company, policy numbers and dependent coverage for any medical insurance carried by or on behalf of the parent;

(h) Name of company, policy numbers and cash values, if any, for any life insurance policies or annuity contracts, carried by or on behalf of, or owned by, the parent;

(i) Any retirement benefits, pension plans or stock purchase plans maintained on behalf of, or owned by, the parent and the values thereof, employee contributions thereto, and the extent to which each benefit or plan is vested;

(j) Vital statistics, including records of marriage, birth or divorce;

(k) Tax and revenue records, including information on residence address, employer, income or assets;

(l) Records concerning real or personal property;

(m) Records of occupational, professional or recreational licenses or permits;

(n) Records concerning the ownership and control of corporations, partnerships or other businesses;

(o) Employment security records;

(p) Records concerning motor vehicles;

(q) Records of assets or liabilities;

(r) Corrections records;

(s) Names and addresses of employers of parents;

(t) Motor vehicle records; and

(u) Law enforcement records;

(6) "Parent", a biological or adoptive parent, including a presumed or putative father. The word parent shall also include any person who has been found to be such by:

(a) A court of competent jurisdiction in an action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or establishment of the parent and child relationship;

(b) The division under section 454.485;

(c) Operation of law under section 210.823, RSMo; or

(d) A court or administrative tribunal of another state.

2. For the purpose of locating and determining financial resources of the parents relating to establishment of paternity or to establish, modify or enforce support orders, the division or other state IV-D agency may request and receive information from the federal Parent Locator Service, from available records in other states, territories and the District of Columbia, from the records of all government agencies, and from businesses and financial entities. A request for information from a public utility or cable television company shall be made by subpoena authorized pursuant to this chapter. The government agencies, businesses, and financial entities shall provide information, if known or chronicled in their business records, notwithstanding any other provision of law making the information confidential. In addition, the division may use all sources of information and available records and, pursuant to agreement with the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or the secretary's designee, request and receive from the federal Parent Locator Service information pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sections 653 and 663, to determine the whereabouts of any parent or child when such information is to be used to locate the parent or child to enforce any state or federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraining of a child, or of making or enforcing a child custody or visitation order.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, no financial entity shall be required to provide the information requested by the division or other state IV-D agency unless the division or other state IV-D agency alleges that the parent about whom the information is sought is an officer, agent, member, employee, depositor, customer or the insured of the financial institution, or unless the division or other state IV-D agency has complied with the provisions of section 660.330, RSMo.

4. Any business or financial entity which has received a request from the division or other state IV-D agency as provided by subsections 2 and 3 of this section shall provide the requested information or a statement that any or all of the requested information is not known or available to the business or financial entity, within sixty days of receipt of the request and shall be liable to the state for civil penalties up to one hundred dollars for each day after such sixty-day period in which it fails to provide the information so requested. Upon request of the division or other state IV-D agency, the attorney general shall bring an action in a circuit court of competent jurisdiction to recover the civil penalty. The court shall have the authority to determine the amount of the civil penalty to be assessed.

5. Any business or financial entity, or any officer, agent or employee of such entity, participating in good faith in providing information requested pursuant to subsections 2 and 3 of this section shall be immune from liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise result from the release of such information to the division.

6. Upon request of the division or other state IV-D agency, any parent shall complete a statement under oath, upon such form as the division or other state IV-D agency may specify, providing information, including, but not necessarily limited to, the parent's monthly income, the parent's total income for the previous year, the number and name of the parent's dependents and the amount of support the parent provides to each, the nature and extent of the parent's assets, and such other information pertinent to the support of the dependent as the division or other state IV-D agency may request. Upon request of the division or other state IV-D agency, such statements shall be completed annually. Failure to comply with this subsection is a class A misdemeanor.

7. The disclosure of any information provided to the business or financial entity by the division or other state IV-D agency, or the disclosure of any information regarding the identity of any applicant for or recipient of public assistance, by an officer or employee of any business or financial entity, or by any person receiving such information from such employee or officer is prohibited. Any person violating this subsection is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

8. Any person who willfully requests, obtains or seeks to obtain information pursuant to this section under false pretenses, or who willfully communicates or seeks to communicate such information to any agency or person except pursuant to this chapter, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

9. For the protection of applicants and recipients of services pursuant to sections 454.400 to 454.645, all officers and employees of, and persons and entities under contract to, the state of Missouri are prohibited, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, from disclosing any information obtained by them in the discharge of their official duties relative to the identity of applicants for or recipients of services or relating to proceedings or actions to establish paternity or to establish or enforce support, or relating to the contents of any records, files, papers and communications, except in the administration of the child support program or the administration of public assistance, including civil or criminal proceedings or investigations conducted in connection with the administration of the child support program or the administration of public assistance. Such officers, employees, persons or entities are specifically prohibited from disclosing any information relating to the location of one party to another party:

(1) If a protective order has been entered against the other party; or

(2) If there is reason to believe that such disclosure of information may result in physical or emotional harm to the other party.

In any judicial proceedings, except such proceedings as are directly concerned with the administration of these programs, such information obtained in the discharge of official duties relative to the identity of applicants for or recipients of child support services or public assistance, and records, files, papers, communications and their contents shall be confidential and not admissible in evidence. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the circuit clerk from releasing information, not otherwise privileged, from court records for reasons other than the administration of the child support program, if such information does not identify any individual as an applicant for or recipient of services pursuant to sections 454.400 to 454.645. Anyone who purposely or knowingly violates this subsection is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 9, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



Fees for certain actions and documents, child support enforcement not required to pay.

454.445. No deposit or other filing fee, court fee, library fee, or fee for making copies of documents shall be required to be paid by the division of child support enforcement, or any attorney bringing action pursuant to a referral by the division of child support enforcement, by any circuit clerk or other county or state officer for the filing of any action or document necessary to establish paternity, or to establish, modify or enforce a child support obligation.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 10, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253)



Support money owed state due, when, failure to pay within time limit, rights of family services--agreements for collection of support, invalid, when, fee allowed person making collection, when, amount--depriving family services of support payments, penalty.

454.450. 1. Whenever a custodian of a child, or other person, receives support moneys paid to him or her, which moneys are paid in whole or in part in satisfaction of a support obligation which is owed to the division of family services pursuant to subsection 2 of section 454.465, or which has been assigned to the division of family services pursuant to subsection 2 of section 208.040, RSMo, the moneys shall be remitted to the department of social services within ten days of receipt by such custodian or other person. If not so remitted, such custodian or other person shall be indebted to the department in an amount equal to the amount of the support money received and not remitted. By not paying over the moneys to the department, such custodian or other person is deemed, without the necessity of signing any document, to have made an irrevocable assignment to the division of family services of any support delinquency owed which is not already assigned to the division of family services or to any support delinquency which may accrue in the future in an amount equal to the amount of the support money retained. The department may utilize any available administrative or legal process to collect the assigned delinquency to effect recoupment and satisfaction of the debt incurred by reason of the failure of such custodian or other person to remit. The department is also authorized to make a setoff to effect satisfaction of the debt by deduction from support moneys in its possession or in the possession of any clerk of the court or other forwarding agent which would otherwise be payable to such custodian or other person for the satisfaction of any support delinquency. Nothing in this section authorizes the department to make a setoff as to current support paid during the month for which the payment is due and owing.

2. A custodian of a child, or other person, who has made an assignment of support rights to the division of family services, shall not make any agreement with any private attorney or other person regarding the collection of assigned support obligations without approval of the department of social services. If any private attorney or other person who in good faith and without knowledge of such assignment collects all or part of the assigned support obligations, any agreement regarding the distribution of the proceeds of the assigned support obligations by such private attorney or other person shall not bind the department; provided, however, the department shall be liable to such private attorney or other person for a fee computed in accordance with subsection 3 of this section. When a private attorney or other person has begun to collect a support obligation, and thereafter a notice of assignment of support rights to the division is filed with the court pursuant to section 454.415, notice of such assignment shall be given to that attorney or other person as provided by supreme court rule 43.01.

3. (1) Where an assignment of support rights has been made to the division of family services but notice of such assignment was not filed with the court pursuant to section 454.415, a private attorney who in good faith and without knowledge of such assignment collects all or part of such assigned support obligation shall be awarded by the department a fee of twenty-five percent of the support obligation collected. Such fees shall be paid out of state funds in lieu of federal funds.

(2) Where an assignment of support rights has been made to the division of family services and notice of the assignment was not filed with the court pursuant to section 454.415 until after the private attorney has begun collection proceedings, a private attorney who collects assigned support obligations shall be awarded a fee, as the court shall determine, based upon the time expended, but in no event shall the fee exceed twenty-five percent of the support obligation collected.

(3) Where no assignment of support rights has been made to the division of family services until after the private attorney has collected any part of the support obligation, no recoupment shall be had by the department of the portion collected, and the fee awarded to the private attorney or other person shall be the fee negotiated between the client and the private attorney or other person.

4. A person commits the crime of stealing, as defined by section 570.030, RSMo, if he takes, obtains, uses, transfers, conceals, or retains possession of child support payments which have been assigned to the division of family services with the purpose to deprive the division thereof, either without the consent of the division or by means of deceit or coercion.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 11, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al.)



Assignments by caretaker relatives, terminate, when, exceptions--caretaker relative defined.

454.455. 1. In any case wherein an order for child support has been entered and the legal custodian and obligee pursuant to the order relinquishes physical custody of the child to a caretaker relative without obtaining a modification of legal custody, and the caretaker relative makes an assignment of support rights to the division of family services in order to receive aid to families with dependent children benefits, the relinquishment and the assignment, by operation of law, shall transfer the child support obligation pursuant to the order to the division in behalf of the state. The assignment shall terminate when the caretaker relative no longer has physical custody of the child, except for those unpaid support obligations still owing to the state pursuant to the assignment at that time.

2. As used in subsection 1 of this section, the term "caretaker relative" includes only those persons listed in subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 208.040, RSMo.

3. If an order for child support has been entered, no assignment of support has been made, and the legal custodian and obligee under the order relinquishes physical custody of the child to a caretaker relative without obtaining a modification of legal custody, or the child is placed by the court in the legal custody of a state agency, the division may, thirty days after the transfer of custody and upon notice to the obligor and obligee, direct the obligor or other payor to change the payee to the caretaker relative or appropriate state agency. An order changing the payee to a caretaker relative shall terminate when the caretaker relative no longer has physical custody of the child, or the state agency is relieved of legal custody, except for the unpaid support obligations still owed to the caretaker relative or the state.

4. If there has been an assignment of support to an agency or division of the state or a requirement to pay through a state disbursement unit, the division may, upon notice to the obligor and obligee, direct the obligor or other payor to change the payee to the appropriate state agency.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 12, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



Definitions.

454.460. As used in sections 454.400 to 454.560, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:

(1) "Court", any circuit court of this state and any court or agency of any other state having jurisdiction to determine the liability of persons for the support of another person;

(2) "Court order", any judgment, decree, or order of any court which orders payment of a set or determinable amount of support money;

(3) "Department", the department of social services of the state of Missouri;

(4) "Dependent child", any person under the age of twenty-one who is not otherwise emancipated, self-supporting, married, or a member of the armed forces of the United States;

(5) "Director", the director of the division of child support enforcement, or the director's designee;

(6) "Division", the division of child support enforcement of the department of social services of the state of Missouri;

(7) "IV-D agency", an agency designated by a state to administer programs under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act;

(8) "IV-D case", a case in which services are being provided pursuant to section 454.400;

(9) "Obligee", any person, state, or political subdivision to whom or to which a duty of support is owed as determined by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction;

(10) "Obligor", any person who owes a duty of support as determined by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction;

(11) "Parent", a biological or adoptive parent, including a presumed or putative father. The word parent shall also include any person who has been found to be such by:

(a) A court of competent jurisdiction in an action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or establishment of the parent and child relationship;

(b) The division under section 454.485;

(c) Operation of law under section 210.823, RSMo; or

(d) A court or administrative tribunal of another state;

(12) "Public assistance", any cash or benefit pursuant to Part IV-A, Part IV-B, Part IV-E, or Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act paid by the department to or for the benefit of any dependent child or any public assistance assigned to the state;

(13) "State", any state or political subdivision, territory or possession of the United States, District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

(14) "Support order", a judgment, decree or order, whether temporary, final or subject to modification, issued by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction for the support and maintenance of a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority pursuant to the law of the issuing state, or of the parent with whom the child is living and providing monetary support, health care, child care, arrearages or reimbursement for such child, and which may include related costs and fees, interest and penalties, income withholding, attorneys' fees and other relief.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 13, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)

(1990) Federal regulations for calculating amount of child support arrearages owed to a state as reimbursement of AFDC assistance paid to custodial parent preempted Missouri statute authorizing director of Missouri division of child support enforcement to "set or reset" amount of arrearage in an amount not to exceed amount of public assistance paid. Jackson v. Rapps, 746 F.Supp. 934 (W.D.Mo.).



State debt, defined, calculation--rights of family services regarding state debts--service of process, procedure.

454.465. 1. For purposes of sections 454.460 to 454.505, a payment of public assistance by the division of family services to or for the benefit of any dependent child, including any payment made for the benefit of the caretaker of the child, creates an obligation, to be called "state debt", which is due and owing to the department by the parent, or parents, absent from the home where the dependent child resided at the time the public assistance was paid. The amount of the state debt shall be determined as follows:

(1) Where there exists a court order directed to a parent which covers that parent's support obligation to a dependent during a period in which the division of family services provided public assistance to or for the benefit of that dependent, the state debt of that parent shall be an amount equal to the obligation ordered by the court, including arrearages and unpaid medical expenses, up to the full amount of public assistance paid; or

(2) Where no court order covers a parent's support obligation to a dependent during a period in which the division of family services provided public assistance to or for the benefit of that dependent, the state debt may be set or reset by the director in an amount not to exceed the amount of public assistance so provided by the division of family services.

2. No agreement between any obligee and any obligor regarding any duty of support, or responsibility therefor, or purporting to settle past, present, or future support obligations either as settlement or prepayment shall act to reduce or terminate any rights of the division to recover from that obligor for public assistance provided.

3. The division shall have the right to make a motion to a court or administrative tribunal for modification of any court order creating a support obligation which has been assigned to the division of family services to the same extent as a party to that action.

4. The department, or any division thereof, as designated by the department director is hereby authorized to promulgate such rules pursuant to section 454.400 and chapter 536, RSMo, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and the requirements of the federal Social Security Act, including, but not necessarily limited to, the opportunity for a hearing to contest an order of the division establishing or modifying support rules for narrowing issues and simplifying the methods of proof at hearings, and establishing procedures for notice and the manner of service to be employed in all proceedings and remedies instituted pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.505.

5. Service pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.505 may be made on the parent or other party in the manner prescribed for service of process in a civil action, by an authorized process server appointed by the director, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The director may appoint any uninterested party, including, but not necessarily limited to, employees of the division, to serve such process. For the purposes of this subsection, a parent who refuses receipt of service by certified mail is deemed to have been served.

6. Creation of or exemption from a state debt pursuant to this section shall not limit any rights which the department has or may obtain pursuant to common or statutory law, including, but not limited to, those obtained pursuant to an assignment of support rights obtained pursuant to section 208.040, RSMo.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 14, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97

(1991) Where statute authorizes director to set or reset amount of child support arrearage in amount not to exceed amount of public assistance paid and policy of director to set amount of arrearage at total amount of public assistance paid conflicted with federal regulations that arrearages owed to state be calculated in accordance with set formula. Federal regulations preempted Missouri statute and policy. Jackson v. Rapps, 947 F.2d 332 (8th Cir.).

(1991) Where former directors and current director of Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement decided not to use federally mandated formula in setting amount of child support arrearage owed to state by noncustodial parents, directors were not entitled to absolute immunity from civil rights claims but since decisions were not adjudicatory in nature but were purely administrative, there was no recourse available to challenge directors' underlying policies. Jackson v. Rapps, 947 F.2d 332 (8th Cir.).



Director to issue notice and finding of financial responsibility, when, procedure, contents--computation of periodic future support--hearing, when, failure of parent to request, result.

454.470. 1. The director may issue a notice and finding of financial responsibility to a parent who owes a state debt or who is responsible for the support of a child on whose behalf the custodian of that child is receiving support enforcement services from the division pursuant to section 454.425 if a court order has not been previously entered against that parent, a court order has been previously entered but has been terminated by operation of law or if a support order from another state has been entered but is not entitled to recognition under sections 454.850 to 454.997. Service of the notice and finding shall be made on the parent or other party in the manner prescribed for service of process in a civil action by an authorized process server appointed by the director, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The director may appoint any uninterested party, including but not limited to employees of the division, to serve such process. For purposes of this subsection, a parent who refuses receipt of service by certified mail is deemed to have been served. Service upon an obligee who is receiving support enforcement services under section 454.425 may be made by regular mail. When appropriate to the circumstances of the individual action, the notice shall state:

(1) The name of the person or agency with custody of the dependent child and the name of the dependent child for whom support is to be paid;

(2) The monthly future support for which the parent shall be responsible;

(3) The state debt, if any, accrued and accruing, and the monthly payment to be made on the state debt which has accrued;

(4) A statement of the costs of collection, including attorney's fees, which may be assessed against the parent;

(5) That the parent shall be responsible for providing medical insurance for the dependent child;

(6) That if a parent desires to discuss the amount of support that should be paid, the parent or person having custody of the child may, within twenty days after being served, contact the division office which sent the notice and request a negotiation conference. The other parent or person having custody of the child shall be notified of the negotiated conference and may participate in the conference. If no agreement is reached on the monthly amount to be paid, the director may issue a new notice and finding of financial responsibility, which may be sent to the parent required to pay support by regular mail addressed to the parent's last known address or, if applicable, the parent's attorney's last known address. A copy of the new notice and finding shall be sent by regular mail to the other parent or person having custody of the child;

(7) That if a parent or person having custody of the child objects to all or any part of the notice and finding of financial responsibility and no negotiation conference is requested, within twenty days of the date of service the parent or person having custody of the child shall send to the division office which issued the notice a written response which sets forth any objections and requests a hearing; and, that if the director issues a new notice and finding of financial responsibility, the parent or person having custody of the child shall have twenty days from the date of issuance of the new notice to send a hearing request;

(8) That if such a timely response is received by the appropriate division office, and if such response raises factual questions requiring the submission of evidence, the parent or person having custody of the child shall have the right to a hearing before an impartial hearing officer who is an attorney licensed to practice law in Missouri and, that if no timely written response is received, the director may enter an order in accordance with the notice and finding of financial responsibility;

(9) That the parent has the right to be represented at the hearing by an attorney of the parent's own choosing;

(10) That the parent or person having custody of the child has the right to obtain evidence and examine witnesses as provided for in chapter 536, RSMo, together with an explanation of the procedure the parent or person having custody of the child shall follow in order to exercise such rights;

(11) That as soon as the order is entered, the property of the parent required to pay support shall be subject to collection actions, including, but not limited to, wage withholding, garnishment, liens, and execution thereon;

(12) A reference to sections 454.460 to 454.510;

(13) That the parent is responsible for notifying the division of any change of address or employment;

(14) That if the parent has any questions, the parent should telephone or visit the appropriate division office or consult an attorney; and

(15) Such other information as the director finds appropriate.

2. The statement of periodic future support required by subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section is to be computed under the guidelines established in subsection 8 of section 452.340, RSMo.

3. Any time limits for notices or requests may be extended by the director, and such extension shall have no effect on the jurisdiction of the court, administrative body, or other entity having jurisdiction over the proceedings.

4. If a timely written response setting forth objections and requesting a hearing is received by the appropriate division office, and if such response raises a factual question requiring the submission of evidence, a hearing shall be held in the manner provided by section 454.475. If no timely written response and request for hearing is received by the appropriate division office, the director may enter an order in accordance with the notice, and shall specify:

(1) The amount of periodic support to be paid, with directions on the manner of payment;

(2) The amount of state debt, if any, accrued in favor of the department;

(3) The monthly payment to be made on state debt, if any;

(4) The amount of costs of collection, including attorney's fees, assessed against the parent;

(5) The name of the person or agency with custody of the dependent child and the name and birth date of the dependent child for whom support is to be paid;

(6) That the property of the parent is subject to collection actions, including, but not limited to, wage withholding, garnishment, liens, and execution thereon; and

(7) If appropriate, that the parent shall provide medical insurance for the dependent child, or shall pay the reasonable and necessary medical expenses of the dependent child.

5. The parent or person having custody of the child shall be sent a copy of the order by regular mail addressed to the parent's last known address or, if applicable, the parent's attorney's last known address. The order is final, and action by the director to enforce and collect upon the order, including arrearages, may be taken from the date of issuance of the order.

6. Copies of the orders issued pursuant to this section shall be mailed within fourteen days of the issuance of the order.

7. Any parent or person having custody of the child who is aggrieved as a result of any allegation or issue of fact contained in the notice and finding of financial responsibility shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing, upon the request in writing filed with the director not more than twenty days after service of the notice and finding is made upon such parent or person having custody of the child, and if in requesting such hearing, the aggrieved parent or person having custody of the child raises a factual issue requiring the submission of evidence.

8. At any time after the issuance of an order under this section, the director may issue an order vacating that order if it is found that the order was issued without subject matter or personal jurisdiction or if the order was issued without affording the obligor due process of law.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 15. A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



No suit maintained if child support is current.

454.472. No garnishment, withholding, or other financial legal proceeding under chapter 454 to enforce a support order as defined in section 454.460 shall be levied or maintained by the division of child support enforcement against a party who alleges that no current or unpaid child support is due if, after review of the allegations and evidence, the division determines that no current or unpaid child support is due. The enforcement action may continue pending a review by the division, and the division may only levy an enforcement action if current or unpaid support should later become due and owing. The division shall advise a party to a support obligation being enforced by the division of the amount currently due under the support order and how that amount was calculated upon request.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 2)



Administrative hearing, procedure, effect on orders of social services--support, how determined--failure of parent to appear, result--judicial review.

454.475. 1. Hearings provided for in this section shall be conducted pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo, by administrative hearing officers designated by the Missouri department of social services. The hearing* officer shall provide the parents, the person having custody of the child, or other appropriate agencies or their attorneys with notice of any proceeding in which support obligations may be established or modified. The department shall not be stayed from enforcing and collecting upon the administrative order during the hearing process and during any appeal to the courts of this state, unless specifically enjoined by court order.

2. If no factual issue has been raised by the application for hearing, or the issues raised have been previously litigated or do not constitute a defense to the action, the director may enter an order without an evidentiary hearing, which order shall be a final decision entitled to judicial review as provided in sections 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo.

3. After full and fair hearing, the hearing officer shall make specific findings regarding the liability and responsibility, if any, of the alleged responsible parent for the support of the dependent child, and for repayment of accrued state debt or arrearages, and the costs of collection, and shall enter an order consistent therewith. In making the determination of the amount the parent shall contribute toward the future support of a dependent child, the hearing officer shall use the scale and formula for minimum support obligations established by the department pursuant to section 454.480.

4. If the person who requests the hearing fails to appear at the time and place set for the hearing, upon a showing of proper notice to that parent, the hearing officer shall enter findings and order in accordance with the provisions of the notice and finding of support responsibility unless the hearing officer determines that no good cause therefor exists.

5. In contested cases, the findings and order of the hearing officer shall be the decision of the director. Any parent or person having custody of the child adversely affected by such decision may obtain judicial review pursuant to sections 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo, by filing a petition for review in the circuit court of proper venue within thirty days of mailing of the decision. Copies of the decision or order of the hearing* officer shall be mailed to any parent, person having custody of the child and the division within fourteen days of issuance.

6. If a hearing has been requested, and upon request of a parent, a person having custody of the child, the division or a IV-D agency, the director shall enter a temporary order requiring the provision of child support pending the final decision or order pursuant to this section if there is clear and convincing evidence establishing a presumption of paternity pursuant to section 210.822, RSMo. In determining the amount of child support, the director shall consider the factors set forth in section 452.340, RSMo. The temporary order, effective upon filing pursuant to section 454.490, is not subject to a hearing pursuant to this section. The temporary order may be stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction only after a hearing and a finding by the court that the order fails to comply with rule 88.01.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 18, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97

*Word "hearings" appears in original rolls.

(1991) Where statute authorizes director to set or reset amount of child support arrearage in amount not to exceed amount of public assistance paid and policy of director to set amount of arrearage at total amount of public assistance paid conflicted with federal regulations that arrearages owed to state be calculated in accordance with set formula. Federal regulations preempted Missouri statute and policy. Jackson v. Rapps, 947 F.2d 332 (8th Cir.).



Administrative orders may be issued, when--duties of director--hearing.

454.476. 1. If a court order has previously been entered, the director may enter an administrative order in accordance with the court order, upon receiving from the obligee, a child support enforcement agency of another state, or the court:

(1) A certified copy of the court order together with all modifications thereto;

(2) A sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages under the court order;

(3) A statement of the name, last known address and, if known, the Social Security number of the obligor; and

(4) The name and address of the obligor's employer or other payor, if known.

2. The obligor shall be sent a copy of the administrative order by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the obligor's last known address or, if applicable, the obligor's attorney's last known address. The obligee shall be sent a copy of the administrative order by regular mail. Copies of the order shall be mailed within fourteen days of issuance.

3. Upon entry of the order, the director shall issue an order directing an employer or other payor to withhold and pay over money due or to become due to the obligated parent as set out in section 454.505.

4. The obligor or obligee, within fourteen days after receiving notice of the director's order, may request an administrative hearing as provided in section 454.475 to contest the order or withholding thereunder. At such hearing, the certified copy of the court order and the sworn or certified statement of arrearages shall constitute prima facie evidence that the director's order is valid and enforceable. Once the prima facie case is established, the obligor may assert only mistake of fact as a defense. Mistake of fact shall mean an error in the amount of arrearages or an error as to the identity of the obligor. The obligor shall have the burden of proof as to these issues. The obligor may not obtain relief from the withholding by paying the overdue support.

5. If the obligor requests a hearing, the withholding will be implemented unless the obligor posts a bond or other security satisfactory to the director to insure payment of support.

6. Every order which contains a provision for the support of a child, whether entered by a court or an administrative body of this or any other state, and whether entered prior to or subsequent to enactment of this section, shall be enforceable by an order to withhold as provided for by section 454.505 immediately upon compliance with subsection 1 of this section.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Summary of expenses required, when.

454.478. In cases where an administrative order is entered pursuant to the provisions of section 454.470 or section 454.476, the director of the division of child support enforcement may, upon petition of the party obligated to pay support and upon good cause shown, order the recipient to furnish the party obligated to pay support with a regular summary of expenses paid by such parent on behalf of the child. The director shall prescribe the form and substance of the summary.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Paternity order, establishing--entered when--genetic testing required when--docketing of order, result--copies to be sent to bureau of vital records of department of health and senior services--defense of nonpaternity--decision, how rendered.

454.485. 1. The director may enter an order establishing paternity of a child in the course of a support proceeding pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.510 when the man is presumed to be the child's father pursuant to section 210.822, RSMo, or when both parents sign sworn statements that the paternity of the dependent child for whom support is sought has not been legally established and that the male parent is the father of the child. For purposes of paternity establishment pursuant to this section, a sworn statement shall include a statement verified by a person authorized to take oaths pursuant to section 207.020, RSMo, or section 454.465.

2. The director may enter an order requiring genetic testing in the course of an action to establish paternity pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.510 or upon the request of a IV-D agency of another state that is seeking to establish paternity. The order may require that the child, the mother or an alleged father submit to tests performed by an expert designated by the division to be qualified as an examiner of genetic markers present on blood cells and components, or other tissue or fluid. Such an examiner shall be qualified to be an expert as defined in section 210.834, RSMo, and shall be considered an expert pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection 1 of section 210.822, RSMo. In addition to any other provisions for enforcement of the order, the order may be filed pursuant to section 454.490 and refusal to comply with the order shall constitute civil contempt.

3. The docketing, pursuant to section 454.490, of an order establishing paternity pursuant to this section shall establish legal paternity for all purposes. The division shall provide an additional copy of each administrative order to be docketed and the circuit clerk shall, upon docketing, forward such copy to the bureau of vital records of the department of health and senior services. The bureau of vital records shall enter the name of the father on the birth records pursuant to sections 193.085 and 193.215, RSMo, and shall record the Social Security account numbers of both parents, pursuant to section 193.075, RSMo.

4. In no event shall a hearing official conducting a hearing pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.510 be authorized to enter a finding of nonpaternity in the case of a man presumed to be the biological father of any child pursuant to Missouri law, or of the father of any child born out of wedlock who has acknowledged paternity in writing under oath or has acknowledged that he is responsible for the support, maintenance and education of such child, unless such presumption has been overruled, or such acknowledgment has been ruled void by a court of competent jurisdiction.

5. In an action contesting paternity, the director shall require genetic testing at the request of a party to such action if such request is supported by a sworn statement of such party which:

(1) Alleges paternity and sets forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of sexual contact between the parties; or

(2) Denies paternity and sets forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility that there was no sexual contact between the parties.

6. The division shall pay the cost of any genetic test ordered pursuant to this section. If the paternity of the alleged father is established, such father may be ordered to pay the cost of such tests. If a genetic test is contested, the director shall not order additional genetic testing when requested by the person contesting the test unless such person pays in advance for such tests.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 17, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Orders entered by director, docketing of, effect.

454.490. 1. A true copy of any order entered by the director pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.997, along with a true copy of the return of service, may be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the judgment of dissolution or paternity has been entered, or if no such judgment was entered, in the county where either the parent or the dependent child resides or where the support order was filed. Upon filing, the clerk shall enter the order in the judgment docket. Upon docketing, the order shall have all the force, effect, and attributes of a docketed order or decree of the circuit court, including, but not limited to, lien effect and enforceability by supplementary proceedings, contempt of court, execution and garnishment. Any administrative order or decision of the division of child support enforcement filed in the office of the circuit clerk of the court shall not be required to be signed by an attorney, as provided by supreme court rule of civil procedures 55.03(a), or required to have any further pleading other than the director's order.

2. In addition to any other provision to enforce an order docketed pursuant to this section or any other support order of the court, the court may, upon petition by the division, require that an obligor who owes past due support to pay support in accordance with a plan approved by the court, or if the obligor is subject to such plan and is not incapacitated, the court may require the obligor to participate in work activities.

3. In addition to any other provision to enforce an order docketed pursuant to this section or any other support order of the court, division or other IV-D agency, the director may order that an obligor who owes past due support to pay support in accordance with a plan approved by the director, or if the obligor is subject to such plan and is not incapacitated, the director may order the obligor to participate in work activities. The order of the director shall be filed with a court pursuant to subsection 1 of this section and shall be enforceable as an order of the court.

4. As used in this section, "work activities" include:

(1) Unsubsidized employment;

(2) Subsidized private sector employment;

(3) Subsidized public sector employment;

(4) Work experience (including work associated with the refurbishing of publicly assisted housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available;

(5) On-the-job training;

(6) Job search and readiness assistance;

(7) Community services programs;

(8) Vocational educational training, not to exceed twelve months for any individual;

(9) Job skills training directly related to employment;

(10) Education directly related to employment for an individual who has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent;

(11) Satisfactory attendance at a secondary school or course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence for an individual who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate; or

(12) The provision of child care services to an individual who is participating in a community service program.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 19, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

(2002) Section's "force and effect" provision is constitutional as an enforcement mechanism and does not transform administrative orders into circuit court judgments. State ex rel. Hilburn v. Staeden, 91 S.W.3d 607 (Mo.banc).



Circuit clerk or family support payment center made trustee, when, duties--assignment, defined.

454.495. 1. Until October 1, 1999, when an administrative order has been docketed pursuant to section 454.490, the court shall order all support payments to be made to the circuit clerk as trustee for the division of family services or other person entitled to receive such payments pursuant to the order. The filing of such order by the director shall in and of itself authorize the court to make the circuit clerk the trustee, notwithstanding any existing court order, statute, or other law to the contrary, and the court need not hold a hearing on the matter. The circuit clerk shall:

(1) Forward all such payments to the department or other person entitled to receive such payments pursuant to the order;

(2) Keep an accurate record of the orders and the payments; and

(3) Report all such collections to the department in the manner specified by the department.

2. Effective October 1, 1999, and if an administrative order has been docketed pursuant to section 454.490, the payment center pursuant to section 454.530 shall be trustee for the division of family services or other person entitled to receive such payments pursuant to the order. The order by the director shall, in and of itself, authorize the payment center to be the trustee, notwithstanding any existing court order or state law to the contrary, and the court shall not be required to hold a hearing on the matter. The payment center shall:

(1) Forward all such payments to the department or other person entitled to receive such payments pursuant to the order;

(2) Keep an accurate record of the orders and payments; and

(3) Report all such collections to the division in the manner specified by the division.

3. As used in this section, "assignment" includes an assignment to the state by a person who has applied for or is receiving assistance under a program funded pursuant to Part A of Title IV or Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 20, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Motion to modify order, review--form of motion, service, procedure--effective, when--venue for judicial review of administrative order, procedure.

454.496. 1. At any time after the entry of a court order for child support in a case in which support rights have been assigned to the state pursuant to section 208.040, RSMo, or a case in which support enforcement services are being provided pursuant to section 454.425, the obligated parent, the obligee or the division of child support enforcement may file a motion to modify the existing child support order pursuant to this section, if a review has first been completed by the director of child support enforcement pursuant to subdivision (13) of subsection 2 of section 454.400. The motion shall be in writing in a form prescribed by the director, shall set out the reasons for modification and shall state the telephone number and address of the moving party. The motion shall be served in the same manner provided for in subsection 5 of section 454.465 upon the obligated parent, the obligee and the division, as appropriate. In addition, if the support rights are held by the division of family services on behalf of the state, the moving party shall mail a true copy of the motion by certified mail to the person having custody of the dependent child at the last known address of that person. The party against whom the motion is made shall have thirty days either to resolve the matter by stipulated agreement or to serve the moving party and the director, as appropriate, by regular mail with a written response setting forth any objections to the motion and a request for hearing. When requested, the hearing shall be conducted pursuant to section 454.475 by hearing officers designated by the department of social services. In such proceedings, the hearing officers shall have the authority granted to the director pursuant to subsection 6 of section 454.465.

2. When no objections and request for hearing have been served within thirty days, the director, upon proof of service, shall enter an order granting the relief sought. Copies of the order shall be mailed to the parties within fourteen days of issuance.

3. A motion to modify made pursuant to this section shall not stay the director from enforcing and collecting upon the existing order unless so ordered by the court in which the order is docketed.

4. The only support payments which may be modified are payments accruing subsequent to the service of the motion upon all parties to the motion.

5. The party requesting modification shall have the burden of proving that a modification is appropriate pursuant to the provisions of section 452.370, RSMo.

6. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 454.490 to the contrary, an administrative order modifying a court order is not effective until the administrative order is filed with and approved by the court that entered the court order. The court may approve the administrative order if no party affected by the decision has filed a petition for judicial review pursuant to sections 536.100 to 536.140, RSMo. After the thirty-day time period for filing a petition of judicial review pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo, has passed, the court shall render its decision within fifteen days. If the court finds the administrative order should be approved, the court shall make a written finding on the record that the order complies with section 452.340, RSMo, and applicable supreme court rules and approve the order. If the court finds that the administrative order should not be approved, the court shall set the matter for trial de novo.

7. If a petition for judicial review is filed, the court shall review all pleadings and the administrative record, as defined in section 536.130, RSMo, pursuant to section 536.140, RSMo. After such review, the court shall determine if the administrative order complies with section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. If it so determines, the court shall make a written finding on the record that the order complies with section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules and approve the order or, if after review pursuant to section 536.140, RSMo, the court finds that the administrative order does not comply with supreme court rule 88.01, the court may select any of the remedies set forth in subsection 5 of section 536.140, RSMo. The court shall notify the parties and the division of any setting pursuant to this section.

8. Notwithstanding the venue provisions of chapter 536, RSMo, to the contrary, for the filing of petitions for judicial review of final agency decisions and contested cases, the venue for the filing of a petition for judicial review contesting an administrative order entered pursuant to this section modifying a judicial order shall be in the court which entered the judicial order. In such cases in which a petition for judicial review has been filed, the court shall consider the matters raised in the petition and determine if the administrative order complies with section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. If the court finds that the administrative order should not be approved, the court shall set the matter for trial de novo. The court shall notify the parties and the division of the setting of such proceeding. If the court determines that the matters raised in the petition are without merit and that the administrative order complies with the provisions of section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules, the court shall approve the order.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



Director's duty to modify a child support order--automated methods used for eligibility for modification.

454.498. 1. Notwithstanding section 452.370, RSMo, and sections 454.496 and 454.500, or any other section requiring a showing of substantial and continuing change in circumstances to the contrary, and as provided for in subdivision (13) of subsection 2 of section 454.400 and taking into account the best interest of the child, the director shall:

(1) Modify, if appropriate, a support order being enforced under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01 if the amount in the current order differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with such guidelines; or

(2) Use automated methods (including automated comparisons with wage or state income tax data) to identify orders eligible for review, conduct the review, identify orders eligible for adjustment and apply the adjustment to the orders eligible for adjustment under any threshold that may be established by the state.

2. If the division conducts a review pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section, either party to the order may contest the adjustment within thirty days after the date of the notice of adjustment by requesting, if appropriate, a review and modification in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01. If the review is timely requested, the division shall review and modify the order, if appropriate, in accordance with supreme court rule 88.01. The division may conduct a review pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section only if the division is unable to conduct a review pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section.

3. The division may review and adjust a support order upon request outside the three-year cycle only upon a demonstration by the requesting party of a substantial change in circumstances which shall be determined by the division. If the division determines that an adjustment shall not be made, the division shall, within fourteen days, mail notice of such determination to the parents or other child support agency, if any.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Modification of an administrative order, procedure, effect--relief from orders, when.

454.500. 1. At any time after the entry of an order pursuant to sections 454.470 and 454.475, the obligated parent, the division, or the person or agency having custody of the dependent child may file a motion for modification with the director. Such motion shall be in writing, shall set forth the reasons for modification, and shall state the address of the moving party. The motion shall be served by the moving party in the manner provided for in subsection 5 of section 454.465 upon the obligated parent or the party holding the support rights, as appropriate. In addition, if the support rights are held by the division of family services on behalf of the state, a true copy of the motion shall be mailed by the moving party by certified mail to the person having custody of the dependent child at the last known address of that person. A hearing on the motion shall then be provided in the same manner, and determinations shall be based on considerations set out in section 454.475, unless the party served fails to respond within thirty days, in which case the director may enter an order by default. If the child for whom the order applies is no longer in the custody of a person receiving public assistance or receiving support enforcement services from the department, or a division thereof, pursuant to section 454.425, the director may certify the matter for hearing to the circuit court in which the order was filed pursuant to section 454.490 in lieu of holding a hearing pursuant to section 454.475. If the director certifies the matter for hearing to the circuit court, service of the motion to modify shall be had in accordance with the provisions of subsection 5 of section 452.370, RSMo. If the director does not certify the matter for hearing to the circuit court, service of the motion to modify shall be considered complete upon personal service, or on the date of mailing, if sent by certified mail. For the purpose of 42 U.S.C. 666(a)(9)(C), the director shall be considered the appropriate agent to receive the notice of the motion to modify for the obligee or the obligor, but only in those instances in which the matter is not certified to circuit court for hearing, and only when service of the motion is attempted on the obligee or obligor by certified mail.

2. A motion for modification made pursuant to this section shall not stay the director from enforcing and collecting upon the existing order pending the modification proceeding unless so ordered by the court.

3. Only payments accruing subsequent to the service of the motion for modification upon all named parties to the motion may be modified. Modification may be granted only upon a showing of a change of circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable. In a proceeding for modification of any child support award, the director, in determining whether or not a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, shall consider all financial resources of both parties, including the extent to which the reasonable expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a spouse or other person with whom he or she cohabits, and the earning capacity of a party who is not employed. If the application of the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01 to the financial circumstances of the parties would result in a change of child support from the existing amount by twenty percent or more, then a prima facie showing has been made of a change of circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the present terms unreasonable.

4. The circuit court may, upon such terms as may be just, relieve a parent from an administrative order entered against that parent because of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.

5. No order entered pursuant to section 454.476 shall be modifiable pursuant to this section, except that an order entered pursuant to section 454.476 shall be amended by the director to conform with any modification made by the court that entered the court order upon which the director based his or her order.

6. When the party seeking modifications has met the burden of proof set forth in subsection 3 of this section, then the child support shall be determined in conformity with the criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01.

7. The last four digits of the Social Security number of the parents shall be recorded on any order entered pursuant to this section. The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required by section 509.520, RSMo.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 21, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481 )



Support, courts, jurisdiction, effect of determinations.

454.501. Nothing contained in sections 454.465 to 454.510 shall deprive courts of competent jurisdiction from determining the support duty of a parent against whom an order is entered by the director pursuant to the authority created by sections 454.460 to 454.505. Such a determination by the court shall supersede the director's order as to support payments due subsequent to the entry of the order by the court, but shall not affect any support arrearage which may have accrued under the director's order. The director's order shall be pleaded and received by the court as evidence of the extent of the parent's duty of support.

(L. 1984 H.B. 1275)



Garnishment of wages, when, procedure, limitations--notice to employer, contents--employer, duties, liabilities--priorities--discharge of employee prohibited, when, penalties for--orders issued by another state, laws to govern.

454.505. 1. In addition to any other remedy provided by law for the enforcement of support, if a support order has been entered, the director shall issue an order directing any employer or other payor of the parent to withhold and pay over to the division, the payment center pursuant to section 454.530 or the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which a trusteeship is or will be established, money due or to become due the obligated parent in an amount not to exceed federal wage garnishment limitations. For administrative child support orders issued pursuant to sections other than section 454.476, the director shall not issue an order to withhold and pay over in any case in which:

(1) One of the parties demonstrates, and the director finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding. For purposes of this subdivision, any finding that there is good cause not to require immediate withholding shall be based on, at least, a written determination and an explanation by the director that implementing immediate wage withholding would not be in the best interests of the child and proof of timely payments of previously ordered support in cases involving the modification of support orders; or

(2) A written agreement is reached between the parties that provides for an alternative payment arrangement.

If the income of an obligor is not withheld as of the effective date of the support order, pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, or otherwise, such obligor's income shall become subject to withholding pursuant to this section, without further exception, on the date on which the obligor becomes delinquent in maintenance or child support payments in an amount equal to one month's total support obligation.

2. An order entered pursuant to this section shall recite the amount required to be paid as continuing support, the amount to be paid monthly for arrearages and the Social Security number of the obligor if available. In addition, the order shall contain a provision that the obligor shall notify the division of child support enforcement regarding the availability of medical insurance coverage through an employer or a group plan, provide the name of the insurance provider when coverage is available, and inform the division of any change in access to such insurance coverage. A copy of section 454.460 and this section shall be appended to the order.

3. An order entered pursuant to this section shall be served on the employer or other payor either by regular mail or by certified mail, return receipt requested or may be issued through electronic means, and shall be binding on the employer or other payor two weeks after mailing or electronic issuance of such service. A copy of the order and a notice of property exempt from withholding shall be mailed to the obligor at the obligor's last known address. The notice shall advise the obligor that the withholding has commenced and the procedures to contest such withholding pursuant to section 454.475 on the grounds that such withholding or the amount withheld is improper due to a mistake of fact by requesting a hearing thirty days from mailing the notice. At such a hearing the certified copy of the court order and the sworn or certified statement of arrearages shall constitute prima facie evidence that the director's order is valid and enforceable. If a prima facie case is established, the obligor may only assert mistake of fact as a defense. For purposes of this section, "mistake of fact" means an error in the amount of the withholding or an error as to the identity of the obligor. The obligor shall have the burden of proof on such issues. The obligor may not obtain relief from the withholding by paying the overdue support. The employer or other payor shall withhold from the earnings or other income of each obligor the amount specified in the order, and may deduct an additional sum not to exceed six dollars per month as reimbursement for costs, except that the total amount withheld shall not exceed the limitations contained in the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1673(b). The employer or other payor shall transmit the payments as directed in the order within seven business days of the date the earnings, money due or other income was payable to the obligor. For purposes of this section, "business day" means a day that state offices are open for regular business. The employer or other payor shall, along with the amounts transmitted, provide the date the amount was withheld from each obligor. If the order does not contain the Social Security number of the obligor, the employer or other payor shall not be liable for withholding from the incorrect obligor.

4. If the order is served on a payor other than an employer, it shall be a lien against any money due or to become due the obligated parent which is in the possession of the payor on the date of service or which may come into the possession of the payor after service until further order of the director, except for any deposits held in two or more names in a financial institution.

5. The division shall notify an employer or other payor upon whom such an order has been directed whenever all arrearages have been paid in full, and whenever, for any other reason, the amount required to be withheld and paid over to the payment center pursuant to the order as to future pay periods is to be reduced or redirected. If the parent's support obligation is required to be paid monthly and the parent's pay periods are at more frequent intervals, the employer or other payor may, at the request of the obligee or the director, withhold and pay over to the payment center an equal amount at each pay period cumulatively sufficient to comply with the withholding order.

6. An order issued pursuant to subsection 1 of this section shall be a continuing order and shall remain in effect and be binding upon any employer or other payor upon whom it is directed until a further order of the director. Such orders shall terminate when all children for whom the support order applies are emancipated or deceased, or the support obligation otherwise ends, and all arrearages are paid. No order to withhold shall be terminated solely because the obligor has fully paid arrearages.

7. An order issued pursuant to subsection 1 of this section shall have priority over any other legal process pursuant to state law against the same wages, except that where the other legal process is an order issued pursuant to this section or section 452.350, RSMo, the processes shall run concurrently, up to applicable wage withholding limitations. If concurrently running wage withholding processes for the collection of support obligations would cause the amounts withheld from the wages of the obligor to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations and includes a wage withholding from another state pursuant to section 454.932, the employer shall first satisfy current support obligations by dividing the amount available to be withheld among the orders on a pro rata basis using the percentages derived from the relationship each current support order amount has to the sum of all current child support obligations. Thereafter, arrearages shall be satisfied using the same pro rata distribution procedure used for distributing current support, up to the applicable limitation. If concurrently running wage withholding processes for the collection of support obligations would cause the amounts withheld from the wages of the obligor to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations and does not include a wage withholding from another state pursuant to section 454.932, the employer shall withhold and pay to the payment center an amount equal to the wage withholding limitations. The payment center shall first satisfy current support obligations by dividing the amount available to be withheld among the orders on a pro rata basis using the percentages derived from the relationship each current support order amount has to the sum of all current child support obligations. Thereafter, arrearages shall be satisfied using the same pro rata distribution procedure used for distributing current support, up to the applicable limitation.

8. No employer or other payor who complies with an order entered pursuant to this section shall be liable to the parent, or to any other person claiming rights derived from the parent, for wrongful withholding. An employer or other payor who fails or refuses to withhold or pay the amounts as ordered pursuant to this section shall be liable to the party holding the support rights in an amount equal to the amount which became due the parent during the relevant period and which, pursuant to the order, should have been withheld and paid over. The director is hereby authorized to bring an action in circuit court to determine the liability of an employer or other payor for failure to withhold or pay the amounts as ordered. If a court finds that a violation has occurred, the court may fine the employer in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars. The court may also enter a judgment against the employer for the amounts to be withheld or paid, court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

9. The remedy provided by this section shall be available where the state or any of its political subdivisions is the employer or other payor of the obligated parent in the same manner and to the same extent as where the employer or other payor is a private party.

10. An employer shall not discharge, or refuse to hire or otherwise discipline, an employee as a result of an order to withhold and pay over certain money authorized by this section. If any such employee is discharged within thirty days of the date upon which an order to withhold and pay over certain money is to take effect, there shall arise a rebuttable presumption that such discharge was a result of such order. This presumption shall be overcome only by clear, cogent and convincing evidence produced by the employer that the employee was not terminated because of the order to withhold and pay over certain money. The director is hereby authorized to bring an action in circuit court to determine whether the discharge constitutes a violation of this subsection. If the court finds that a violation has occurred, the court may enter an order against the employer requiring reinstatement of the employee and may fine the employer in an amount not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars. Further, the court may enter judgment against the employer for the back wages, costs, attorney's fees, and for the amount of child support which should have been withheld and paid over during the period of time the employee was wrongfully discharged.

11. If an obligor for whom an order to withhold has been issued pursuant to subsection 1 of this section terminates the obligor's employment, the employer shall, within ten days of the termination, notify the division of the termination, shall provide to the division the last known address of the obligor, if known to the employer, and shall provide to the division the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known. When the division determines the identity of the obligor's new employer, the director shall issue an order to the new employer as provided in subsection 1 of this section.

12. If an employer or other payor is withholding amounts for more than one order issued pursuant to subsection 1 of this section, the employer or other payor may transmit all such withholdings which are to be remitted to the same circuit clerk, other collection unit or to the payment center after October 1, 1999, as one payment together with a separate list identifying obligors for whom a withholding has been made and the amount withheld from each obligor so listed, and the withholding date or dates for each obligor.

13. For purposes of this section, "income" means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation benefits, disability benefits, payments pursuant to a pension or a retirement program, and interest.

14. The employer shall withhold funds as directed in the notice, except if an employer receives an income withholding order issued by another state, the employer shall apply the income withholding law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment in determining:

(1) The employer's fee for processing an income withholding order;

(2) The maximum amount permitted to be withheld from the obligor's income;

(3) The time periods within which the employer shall implement the income withholding order and forward the child support payments;

(4) The priorities for withholding and allocating income withheld for multiple child support obligees; and

(5) Any withholding terms and conditions not specified in the order.

15. If the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services promulgates a final standard format for an employer income withholding notice, the director shall use such notice prescribed by the secretary.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 22, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613 merged with S.B. 330 merged with S.B. 471)

(1994) Where statute prohibits employers from discharging employees in response to wage-withholding order to satisfy child support obligation, legislature did not clearly indicate its intent to establish private cause of action for employees against employers. The failure to expressly create a private cause of action gives rise to the implication that the division director of child support enforcement has that exclusive right to bring suit. Johnson v. Kraft General Foods, Inc., 885 S.W.2d 334 (Mo.banc).



Financial institutions, division may request information, when, fees--definitions--data match system--notice of lien.

454.507. 1. In addition to the authority of the division to request information pursuant to section 454.440, the division may request information from financial institutions pursuant to this section.

2. As used in this section:

(1) "Account" includes a demand deposit, checking or negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account or money market mutual fund account;

(2) "Encumbered assets", the noncustodial parent's interest in an account which is encumbered by a lien arising by operation of law or otherwise;

(3) "Financial institution" includes:

(a) A depository institution as defined in Section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. Section 1813(c));

(b) An institution affiliated party as defined in Section 3(u) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. Section 1813(u));

(c) Any federal credit union or state credit union, as defined in Section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. Section 1752), including an institution affiliated party of such a credit union as defined in Section 206(r) of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. Section 1786(r)); or

(d) Any benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money market fund or similar entity authorized to do business in the state.

3. The division shall enter into agreements with financial institutions to develop and operate a data match system which uses automated exchanges to the maximum extent feasible. Such agreements shall require the financial institution to provide to the division, for each calendar quarter, the name, record address, Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number, and other identifying information of each noncustodial parent who maintains an account at such institution and who owes past due support, as identified by the division by name and Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number. The financial institution shall only provide such information stated in this subsection that is readily available through existing data systems, and as such data systems are enhanced, solely at the financial institution's discretion and for its business purposes, the financial institution shall provide any original and additional information which becomes readily available for any new data match request.

4. The division shall pay a reasonable fee to the financial institution for conducting the data match pursuant to this section, but such amount shall not exceed the costs incurred by the financial institution.

5. The division or a IV-D agency may issue liens against any account in a financial institution and may release such liens.

6. (1) If a notice of lien is received from the division or a IV-D agency, the financial institution shall immediately encumber the assets held by such institution on behalf of any noncustodial parent who is subject to such lien. However, if the account is in the name of a noncustodial parent and such parent's spouse or parent, the financial institution at its discretion may not encumber the assets and when it elects not to encumber such assets, shall so notify the division or IV-D agency. The amount of assets to be encumbered shall be stated in the notice and shall not exceed the amount of unpaid support due at the time of issuance. The financial institution shall, within ten business days of receipt of a notice of lien, notify the division or IV-D agency of the financial institution's response to the notice of lien.

(2) Within ten business days of notification by the financial institution that assets have been encumbered, the division or IV-D agency shall notify by mail the noncustodial parent of the issuance of the lien and the reasons for such issuance. The notice shall advise the noncustodial parent of the procedures to contest such lien pursuant to section 454.475 by requesting a hearing within thirty days from the date the notice was mailed by the division to the noncustodial parent.

7. (1) Except as provided in subsection 6 of this section, the interest of the noncustodial parent shall be presumed equal to all other joint owners, unless at least one of the joint owners provides the division or IV-D agency with a true copy of a written agreement entered prior to the date of issuance of notice of lien, or other clear and convincing evidence regarding the various ownership interests of the joint owners within twenty days of the financial institution's mailing of the notice of lien. The financial institution shall only encumber the amount presumed to belong to the noncustodial parent. The division or IV-D agency may proceed to issue an order for the amount in the account presumed to belong to the noncustodial parent if no prior written agreement or other evidence is provided.

(2) If a prior written agreement or other clear and convincing evidence is furnished to the division, and based on such agreement or evidence the division or IV-D agency determines that the interest of the noncustodial parent is less than the presumed amount, the division or IV-D agency shall amend the lien to reflect the amount in the account belonging to the noncustodial parent or shall release the lien if the noncustodial parent has no interest in the account. In no event shall the division or IV-D agency obtain more than the presumed amount of the account without a judicial determination that a greater amount of the account belongs to the noncustodial parent. The division or IV-D agency may by levy and execution on a judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction seek to obtain an amount greater than the amount presumed to belong to the noncustodial parent upon proof that the noncustodial parent's interest is greater than the amount presumed pursuant to this subsection.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, accounts are not joint accounts when the noncustodial parent has no legal right to the funds, but is either a contingent owner or agent. Such nonjoint accounts shall include, but are not limited to, a pay-on-death account or any other account in which the noncustodial parent owner may act as agent by a power of attorney or otherwise. Furthermore, when any account naming the noncustodial parent has not been disclosed to the noncustodial parent which is evidenced by a signature card or other deposit agreement not containing the signature of such noncustodial parent, then for the purposes of this subsection, such account shall not be treated as a joint account.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a financial institution shall not encumber any account of less than one hundred dollars.

8. Upon service of an order to surrender issued pursuant to this section, any financial institution in possession of a jointly owned account may interplead such property as otherwise provided by law.

9. Any other joint owner may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for a determination that the interests of the joint owners are disproportionate. The party filing the petition shall have the burden of proof on such a claim. If subject to the jurisdiction of the court, all persons owning affected accounts with a noncustodial parent shall be made parties to any proceeding to determine the respective interests of the joint owners. The court shall enter an appropriate order determining the various interests of each of the joint owners and authorizing payment against the obligor's share for satisfaction of the child support or maintenance obligation.

10. The court may assess costs and reasonable attorney's fees against the noncustodial parent if the court determines that the noncustodial parent has an interest in the affected joint account.

11. The division may order the financial institution to surrender all or part of the encumbered assets. The order shall not issue until sixty days after the notice of lien is sent to the financial institution. The financial institution shall, within seven days of receipt of the order, pay the encumbered amount as directed in the order to surrender.

12. A financial institution shall not be liable pursuant to any state or federal law, including 42 U.S.C. Section 669A, to any person for:

(1) Any disclosure of information to the division pursuant to this section;

(2) Encumbering or surrendering any assets held by the financial institution in response to a lien or order pursuant to this section and notwithstanding any other provisions in this section to the contrary, encumbering or surrendering assets from any account in the financial institution connected in any way to the noncustodial parent; or

(3) Any other action taken in good faith to comply with the requirements of this section.

13. A financial institution that fails without due cause to comply with a notice of lien or order to surrender issued pursuant to this section shall be liable for the amount of the encumbered assets and the division may bring an action against the financial institution in circuit court for such amount. For purposes of this subsection, "due cause" shall include, but not be limited to, when a financial institution demonstrates to a court of competent jurisdiction that the institution established in good faith a routine to comply with the requirements of this section and that one or more transactions to enforce the lien or order to surrender were not completed due to an accidental error, a misplaced computer entry, or other accidental human or mechanical problems.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2002 S.B. 895)



Supreme court to provide rules for certain hearings.

454.510. The supreme court of the state of Missouri may provide rules for expeditious hearings on all matters referred to the circuit court pursuant to this act*.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 23)

*Original rolls contain words "this act". The act (S.B. 468, 1982) contains numerous sections. Consult Disposition of Sections table for definitive listing.



Denial of a passport for child support arrearage, when--mistake of fact, defined.

454.511. The division may certify a person who owes a child support arrearage in excess of the amount set forth in 42 U.S.C. 654(31) to the appropriate federal government agency for the purpose of denying a passport to such person, or revoking, suspending or limiting a passport previously issued to such person. Such person shall be mailed, by the division or on behalf of the division, a notice of the proposed certification and the consequences thereof upon such person. Within thirty days of receipt of the notice, the person may contest the proposed certification by requesting in writing a hearing pursuant to the procedures in section 454.475. At such hearing the obligor may assert only mistake of fact as a defense. For purposes of this section, "mistake of fact" means an error in the amount of arrearages or an error as to the identity of the obligor. The obligor shall have the burden of proof on such issues. The division shall not certify the person until after a final decision has been reached.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2007 S.B. 25)



Consumer reporting agency, defined--division reports to agencies of delinquent support--duties of division--notice, when.

454.512. 1. The division shall periodically report the name of any noncustodial parent who is delinquent in the payment of support and the amount of overdue support owed by such parent to consumer reporting agencies defined in 15 U.S.C. Section 1681a(f).

2. The noncustodial parent shall be provided notice and a reasonable opportunity to contest the accuracy of the information before such information is reported to a consumer reporting agency under procedures adopted by the division.

3. Before referring information to any entity pursuant to this section, the division shall ensure that such entity has provided evidence that is qualified as a consumer reporting agency.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)



Attorney representation exclusive--attorney/client relationship not to exist, when--notice to party not represented by attorney, when.

454.513. 1. Any attorney initiating any legal proceedings at the request of the Missouri division of child support enforcement shall represent the state of Missouri, department of social services, division of child support enforcement exclusively. An attorney/client relationship shall not exist between the attorney and any applicant or recipient of child support enforcement services for and on behalf of a child or children, without regard to the name in which legal proceedings are initiated. The provisions of this section shall apply to a prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney, attorney employed by the state or attorney under contract with the division of child support enforcement.

2. An attorney representing the division in a proceeding in which a child support obligation may be established or modified shall, whenever possible, notify an applicant or recipient of child support enforcement services of such proceedings if such applicant or recipient is a party to such a proceeding but is not represented by an attorney.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 1, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Lien on obligor's share of a decedent's estate, when, procedure--notice, contents, filed where--personal representative liable on bond for failure to pay--notice to lienholder or payor required, when.

454.514. 1. The director, IV-D agency or the obligee may cause a lien for unpaid and delinquent child or spousal support to be placed upon an obligor's distributive share of a decedent's estate.

2. No such lien shall be effective unless and until a written notice is filed with the clerk of the probate court in which the decedent's estate is being administered, a copy of the notice is sent by regular United States mail to the personal representative of the decedent, and, if the obligor's distributive share includes real estate, in the real estate records of the county where the real estate is located. The notice shall contain the name and address of the delinquent obligor, the Social Security number of the obligor, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of delinquent child or spousal support.

3. The lien shall attach to the obligor's distributive share upon the filing of the notice of the lien with the clerk. Thereafter, the personal representative of the decedent shall pay to the obligee, director or the director's designated agent, the lesser of the obligor's distributive share or the unpaid and delinquent child or spousal support. If the personal representative fails to pay the obligee or the state of Missouri, as the case may be, the personal representative shall be liable upon the representative's bond to the obligee or the state of Missouri.

4. In cases which are not IV-D cases to cause a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section the obligee or the obligee's attorney shall file notice of the lien with the lienholder or payor. This notice shall have attached a certified copy of the court order with all modifications and a sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Order for child support, lien on real estate, when, procedure--duration, priority, revival, release, when.

454.515. 1. A judgment or order for child support or maintenance payable in periodic installments shall not be a lien on the real estate of the person against whom the judgment or order is rendered until the person entitled to receive payments pursuant to the judgment or order, the division or IV-D agency files a lien and the lien is recorded in the office of the circuit clerk of any county in this state in which such real estate is situated in the manner provided for by the supreme court and chapter 511, RSMo. Thereafter, the judgment shall become a lien on all real property of the obligor in such county, owned by the obligor at the time, or which the obligor may acquire afterwards and before the lien expires.

2. Liens pursuant to this section shall commence on the day filed and shall continue for a period of three years. A judgment creditor, the division or IV-D agency may revive a lien by filing another lien on or before each three-year anniversary of the original judgment. At the time each lien is revived, all unpaid installments shall remain a lien for the subsequent three-year period.

3. The lien shall state the name, last known address of the obligor, the obligor's Social Security number, the obligor's date of birth, if known, and the amount of support or maintenance due and unpaid.

4. A copy of the lien shall be mailed by the person entitled to receive payments under the judgment or order, the division or IV-D agency to the last known address of the obligor.

5. The person entitled to receive payments pursuant to the judgment or order, the division or IV-D agency may execute a partial or total release of the liens created by this section, either generally or as to specific property.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 24, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Lien on motor vehicles, boats, motors, manufactured homes and trailers, when, procedure--notice, contents--registration of lien, restrictions, removal of lien--public sale, when--good faith purchasers--child support lien database to be maintained.

454.516. 1. The director or IV-D agency may cause a lien pursuant to subsections 2 and 3 of this section or the obligee may cause a lien pursuant to subsection 8 of this section for unpaid and delinquent child support to block the issuance of a certificate of ownership for motor vehicles, motor boats, outboard motors, manufactured homes and trailers that are registered in the name of a delinquent child support obligor.

2. The director or IV-D agency shall notify the department of revenue with the required information necessary to impose a lien pursuant to this section by filing a notice of lien.

3. The director or IV-D agency shall not notify the department of revenue and the department of revenue shall not register lien except as provided in this subsection. After the director or IV-D agency decide that such lien qualifies pursuant to this section and forward it to the department of revenue, the director of revenue or the director's designee shall only file such lien against the obligor's certificate of ownership when:

(1) The obligor has unpaid child support which exceeds one thousand dollars;

(2) The property has a value of more than three thousand dollars as determined by current industry publications that provide such estimates to dealers in the business, and the property's year of manufacture is within seven years of the date of filing of the lien except in the case of a motor vehicle that has been designated a historic vehicle;

(3) The property has no more than two existing liens for child support;

(4) The property has had no more than three prior liens for child support in the same calendar year.

4. In the event that a lien is placed and the obligor's total support obligation is eliminated, the director shall notify the department of revenue that the lien shall be removed.

5. Upon notification that a lien exists pursuant to this section, the department of revenue shall register the lien on the records of the department of revenue. Such registration shall contain the type and model of the property and the serial number of the property.

6. Upon notification by the director that the lien shall be removed pursuant to subsection 4 of this section, the department of revenue shall register such removal of lien on its database, that shall contain the type and model of the property and the serial number of the property.

7. A good faith purchaser for value without notice of the lien or a lender without notice of the lien takes free of the lien.

8. In cases which are not IV-D cases, to cause a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section the obligee or the obligee's attorney shall file notice of the lien with the department of revenue. This notice shall have attached a certified copy of the court order with all modifications and a sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages.

9. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department of revenue shall maintain a child support lien database that may be collected against the owner on a certificate of ownership provided for by chapters 301, 306 and 700, RSMo. To determine any existing liens for child support pursuant to this section, the lienholder, dealer or buyer may inquire electronically into the database. A good faith purchaser for value without notice of the lien or a lender without notice of the lien takes free of the lien.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 2002 S.B. 895 (Repealed L. 2009 H.B. 481 A), A.L. 2002 H.B. 2008)

*This section was amended in 2002 by both H.B. 2008 and S.B. 895. Due to possible conflict, two versions of this section were printed. The language from S.B. 895 was repealed by H.B. 481, 2009. The language from H.B. 2008 is still existing law.



Lien on workers' compensation, when, procedure--notice, contents--enforcement of lien--duties of director of workers' compensation.

454.517. 1. The director, IV-D agency or the obligee may cause a lien for unpaid and delinquent child or spousal support to be placed upon any workers' compensation benefits payable to an obligor delinquent in child or spousal support payments.

2. No such lien shall be effective unless and until a written notice is filed with the director of the division of workers' compensation. The notice shall contain the name and address of the delinquent obligor, the Social Security number of the obligor, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of delinquent child or spousal support.

3. Notice of lien shall not be filed unless the delinquent child or spousal support obligation exceeds one hundred dollars.

4. Any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, including an insurance carrier, making any payment of workers' compensation benefits to such obligor or to such obligor's attorneys, heirs or legal representative, after receipt of such notice, as defined in subsection 5 of this section, shall be liable to the obligee or, if support has been assigned pursuant to subsection 2 of section 208.040, RSMo, to the state or IV-D agency in an amount equal to the lesser of the workers' compensation benefits paid or delinquent child or spousal support. In such event, the lien may be enforced by a suit at law against any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations making the workers' compensation benefit payment.

5. Upon the filing of a notice pursuant to this section, the director of the division of workers' compensation shall mail to the obligor and to all attorneys and insurance carriers of record, a copy of the notice. The obligor, attorneys and insurance carriers shall be deemed to have received the notice within five days of the mailing of the notice by the director of the division of workers' compensation. The lien described in this section shall attach to all workers' compensation benefits which are thereafter payable.

6. In cases which are not IV-D cases, to cause a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section the obligee or the obligor's attorney shall file notice of the lien with the lienholder or payor. This notice shall have attached a certified copy of the court order with all modifications and a sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Lien on law suits, claims or counterclaims, when, procedure--notice, contents--liability of persons making payment or settlement after notice--duties of clerk.

454.518. 1. The director, IV-D agency or the obligee may cause a lien for unpaid and delinquent child or spousal support to be placed upon any and all claims, counterclaims, or suits at law of any obligor delinquent in child or spousal support payments.

2. No such lien shall be effective unless and until a written notice is filed with the clerk of the court in which the claim, counterclaim or suit at law is pending, and the clerk of the court mails the notices required by subsection 5 of this section. The notice shall contain the name and address of the delinquent obligor, the Social Security number of the obligor, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of delinquent child or spousal support.

3. Notice of this lien shall not be filed unless the delinquent child or spousal support obligation exceeds one hundred dollars.

4. Any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, including an insurance carrier, making any payment or settlement in full or partial satisfaction of the claim, counterclaim or suit at law, after receipt of such notice, as defined in subsection 5 of this section, shall be liable to the obligee or, if support has been assigned pursuant to subsection 2 of section 208.040, RSMo, to the state or IV-D agency in an amount equal to the lesser of the payment or settlement, or the delinquent child or spousal support. In such event, the lien may be enforced by a suit at law against any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations making the payment or settlement.

5. Upon the filing of a notice pursuant to this section, the clerk of the court shall mail to the obligor and to all attorneys of record a copy of the notice. The obligor and attorneys of record shall be deemed to have received the notice within five days of the mailing by the clerk. The lien described in this section shall attach to any payment or settlement made more than five days after the clerk mailed the notice.

6. In cases which are not IV-D cases, to cause a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section the obligee or the obligee's attorney shall file notice of the lien with the lienholder or payor. This notice shall have attached a certified copy of the court order with all modifications and a sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Lien on rights of action for personal injury or negligence, when, procedure--notice, contents--liability of persons making payment or settlement after notice.

454.519. 1. The director, IV-D agency or the obligee may cause a lien for unpaid and delinquent child or spousal support to be placed upon any and all demands or rights of action for negligence or personal injury which any obligor delinquent in child or spousal support payments may have.

2. No such lien shall be effective unless and until a written notice is mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the alleged tort-feasor or the attorney of record, if any. The notice shall contain the name and address of the delinquent obligor, the Social Security number of the obligor, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of delinquent child or spousal support. The notice shall also instruct the tort-feasor to mail a copy of the notice of lien to the tort-feasor's insurance carrier, if any.

3. Notice of this lien shall not be mailed unless the delinquent child or spousal support obligation exceeds one hundred dollars.

4. Any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, including an insurance carrier, making any payment or settlement in full or partial satisfaction of the demand or right of action, after receipt by the tort-feasor of the notice of lien, shall be liable to the obligee or, if support has been assigned pursuant to subsection 2 of section 208.040, RSMo, to the state or IV-D agency in an amount equal to the lesser of the payment or settlement, or the delinquent child or spousal support. In such event, the lien may be enforced by a suit at law against any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations making the payment or settlement.

5. In cases which are not IV-D cases to cause a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section the obligee or the obligee's attorney shall file notice of the lien with the lienholder or payor. This notice shall have attached a certified copy of the court order with all modifications and a sworn statement by the obligee or a certified statement from the court attesting to or certifying the amount of arrearages.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Delinquent child support and maintenance, interest on, rate, how computed--execution for interest, when, procedure.

454.520. 1. All delinquent child support and maintenance payments which have accrued based upon judgments or orders of courts of this state entered prior to September 29, 1979, shall draw interest at the rate of six percent per annum through September 28, 1979; at the rate of nine percent per annum from September 29, 1979, through August 31, 1982; and thereafter at the rate of one percent per month.

2. All delinquent child support and maintenance payments which have accrued based upon judgments or orders of courts of this state entered after September 28, 1979, but prior to September 1, 1982, shall draw interest at the rate of nine percent per annum through August 31, 1982, and thereafter at the rate of one percent per month.

3. All delinquent child support and maintenance payments which accrue based upon judgments of courts of this state entered on or after September 1, 1982, shall draw interest at the rate of one percent per month.

4. The interest imposed pursuant to subsections 1 to 3 of this section shall be simple interest. Interest shall accrue at the close of the business day on the last day of each month and shall be calculated by multiplying the total arrearage existing at the end of the day, less the amount of that month's installments, by the applicable rate of interest. The total amount of interest collectible is the sum of the interest which has accrued on the last day of each month following the first delinquent payment. This interest computation method shall apply to all support and maintenance orders, regardless of the frequency of the installments required by the court. If the order does not specify the date on which support or maintenance payments are to begin, it shall be assumed that the first installment was due on the date the order was entered, and subsequent installments fall due on the same day of the week, or date of the month, as is appropriate. Payments which were to begin on the twenty-ninth, thirtieth or thirty-first of any month shall be deemed due on the last day of any month not containing such date. The interest imposed pursuant to this section shall automatically accrue and attach to the underlying support or maintenance judgment or order, and may be collected together with the arrearage, except that no payment or collection shall be construed to be interest until the entire support arrearage has been satisfied. Such interest shall be considered support or maintenance for the purposes of exemptions, restrictions on amounts which may be recovered by garnishment, and nondischargeability in bankruptcy.

5. As a condition precedent to execution for interest on delinquent child support or maintenance payments, the obligee shall present to the circuit clerk a sworn affidavit setting forth the payment history of the obligor under the judgment or order, together with a statement which details the computation of the interest claimed to be due and owing; except, that the payment history affidavit shall not be required for periods during which the clerk is acting as trustee pursuant to section 452.345, RSMo, or the division is acting as trustee pursuant to this chapter or any other provision of the laws of this state. It shall not be the responsibility of the circuit clerk to compute the interest due and owing. The payment history affidavit and statement of interest shall be entered in the case record by the circuit clerk. If the obligor disputes the payment history as sworn to by the obligee, or the interest claimed, the obligor may petition the court for a determination. The court shall hold a hearing and shall make such a determination prior to the return date of the execution, or if this is not possible, the court shall direct the sheriff to pay the proceeds of the execution into the court pending such determination. If the determination as made by the court is inconsistent with the payment history affidavit of the obligee, or the interest claimed, the amount of the execution shall be so amended.

(L. 1982 S.B. 468 25, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Subordination of liens, when.

454.522. 1. The director of revenue shall subordinate any lien filed pursuant to the provisions of subsection 1 of section 143.902, RSMo, or any lien filed pursuant to the provisions of subsection 1 of section 144.380, RSMo, to any lien for child support filed pursuant to chapter 454, without regard to whether the lien filed pursuant to subsection 1 of section 143.902, RSMo, or subsection 1 of section 144.380, RSMo, was filed earlier in time. This subsection shall not apply unless the child, or at least one of two or more children, on whose behalf a lien for child support has been filed pursuant to chapter 454 resides in Missouri. This subsection shall not apply if the effect of the subordination of the lien filed pursuant to subsection 1 of section 143.902, RSMo, or subsection 1 of section 144.380, RSMo, is to permit other lienholders senior to the child support lien to receive all the proceeds from the sale of the assets to which the lien filed pursuant to subsection 1 of section 143.902, RSMo, or subsection 1 of section 144.380, RSMo, attaches, with no part of the proceeds going to the child or children on whose behalf the lien has been filed pursuant to chapter 454.

2. Any collusive attempt between a child support obligor and obligee to use the provisions of subsection 1 of this section to evade or defeat any tax imposed by sections 143.011 to 143.996, RSMo, or the payment thereof, shall be considered a criminal offense which may be prosecuted pursuant to section 143.911, RSMo, in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

3. Any collusive attempt between a child support obligor and obligee to use the provisions of subsection 1 of this section to evade or defeat any tax imposed by sections 144.010 to 144.525, RSMo, or the payment thereof, shall be considered a violation subject to the penalties provided in sections 144.500 and 144.510, RSMo.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 7)



Obligor, defined--conveyances of entirety, property set aside, when--hearing, presumption, burden of proving good faith.

454.525. 1. For purposes of this section, an "obligor" is a person who owes a duty of support as determined by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction.

2. Any conveyance of real or personal property made by the obligor, including conveyances made by the obligor to himself and his spouse as tenants by the entirety, for the purpose and with the intent to delay, hinder or defraud the person to whom the support obligation is owed shall be voidable, as long as the tenancy by the entirety exists and until a good faith purchaser for value gains title to the property. This subsection shall not operate to impair the commercial banks' defense under section 362.470, RSMo.

3. Any party owed a support obligation may maintain an action for the purpose of setting aside a fraudulent conveyance by filing an appropriate motion in the cause of action that produced the support order, or if the order was established pursuant to sections 454.440 to 454.510, by filing a petition in the court in which the order was filed pursuant to section 454.490. Where the party seeking to set aside the conveyance presents evidence that the conveyance was made voluntarily and without adequate consideration or in anticipation of entry or enforcement of a judicial or administrative support order, a presumption shall arise that the conveyance was made with fraudulent intent. Upon such a showing, the burden of* proving that the conveyance was made in good faith shall rest with the obligor.

4. If after a hearing the court determines that the conveyance was made for the purpose and with the intent to delay, hinder or defraud the person to whom the support obligation is owed, the court shall set the conveyance aside and subject the property to execution for satisfaction of the support judgment subject to the interest of the good faith purchaser for value, mortgagee, or commercial bank.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479 2)

*Word "or" appears in original rolls.



Execution on jointly held property, when, procedure--obligor defined--parties to action--attorney's fees, assessed against whom.

454.528. 1. The interests of one or more owners of any real or personal property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, or otherwise held in any form of joint interest, except for property held in the name of a husband and wife and no other, are subject to execution as provided in this section for the sole purpose of enforcing judgments or orders for child support or maintenance.

2. For purposes of this section, an "obligor" is a person who owes a duty of support as determined by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction.

3. Any party in possession of a judgment or order for child support or maintenance may request levy and execution from a court of competent jurisdiction against real or personal property held by the obligor jointly with another person as provided in this section. Unless one or more of the joint owners presents to the court, within ten days after the return date of the execution, a true copy of a prior written agreement setting forth the various interests of the joint owners, or the court determines otherwise after holding a hearing as provided for in subsection 5 of this section, it shall be presumed that the interests of the joint owners are equal. Upon levy, the execution shall constitute a lien against the obligor's presumed interest in the property. Any one or more of the joint owners may obtain relief from the lien by filing with the court a copy of a prior written agreement setting forth the various interests of the joint owners, without the necessity of filing a petition under subsection 5 of this section. A copy of the written agreement shall be sent by regular United States mail to the party requesting execution, who may challenge the validity or authenticity of the agreement by filing a petition pursuant to subsection 5 of this section.

4. Upon being served with an execution issued pursuant to this section, any third party in possession of jointly owned property may interplead said property as otherwise provided by law. Commercial banks may utilize the interpleader procedure authorized by the provisions of section 362.360, RSMo. The third party shall notify the owners of the property that the property has been levied upon if the owners have addresses of record with the third party.

5. Either party, or any other joint owner as provided in subsection 1 of this section, may petition the court for a determination that the interests of the joint owners are disproportionate by filing a proper motion in the cause of action from which the levy and execution was issued. The party filing the motion shall have the burden of proof as to the claim that the interests of the joint owners are disproportionate. If subject to the jurisdiction of the court, all persons owning affected real or personal property jointly with an obligor shall be made parties to any proceeding to determine the respective interests of the joint owners. After a hearing on the motion, the court shall enter an appropriate order determining the various interests of each of the joint owners, and authorizing execution against the obligor's share for satisfaction of the child support or maintenance obligation.

6. The court may assess costs and reasonable attorney's fees against the obligor, if the court determines that the obligor has an interest in the affected jointly held property. If the court determines that the obligor has no interest in the property, costs and attorney's fees may be assessed against the party who requested the execution.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1479 3)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Roth IRA not exempt from attachment for child support and maintenance, RSMo 513.430

(1988) Partnership funds are not property held in the form of joint interest under this section. Under the Uniform Partnership Law, the proper method to "seize" the interest of an individual partner in a partnership is to apply to the court for a charging order. (Mo.App.E.D.) Wills v. Wills, 750 S.W.2d 567.



Family support payment center established by the division for child support orders--disbursement of child support--business day, defined--electronic funds transfer system.

454.530. 1. On or before October 1, 1999, the division of child support enforcement shall establish and operate a state disbursement unit to be known as the "Family Support Payment Center" for the receipt and disbursement of payments pursuant to support orders for:

(1) All cases enforced by the division pursuant to section 454.400; and

(2) Any case required by federal law to be collected or disbursed by the payment center including, but not limited to, cases in which a support order is initially issued on or after January 1, 1994, in which the income of the obligor is subject to withholding; and

(3) Beginning July 1, 2001:

(a) Any other case with a support order in which payments are ordered or directed by a court or the division to be made to the payment center or in which the income of the obligor is subject to withholding; and

(b) Any case prior to July 1, 2001, in which support payments are ordered paid to the clerk of the court as trustee pursuant to section 452.345, RSMo.

2. The family support payment center shall be operated by the division, in conjunction with other state agencies pursuant to a cooperative agreement, or by a contractor responsible directly to the division. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, after notice by the division or the court that issued the support order to the obligor that all future payments shall be made to the payment center, the payment center shall become trustee for payments made by parents, employers, states and other entities, and all future payments shall be made to the payment center. The payment center shall disburse payments to custodial parents and other obligees, the state or agencies of other states. If the payment center is operated by a contractor and the contractor receives and disburses the payments, the contractor shall have an annual audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant. The audit will determine whether funds received are disbursed or otherwise accounted for, and make recommendations as to the procedures and changes that the contractor should take to protect the funds received from misappropriation and theft. A copy of the audit shall be delivered to the division, the office of administration and the office of the state courts administrator.

3. Except as otherwise provided in sections 454.530 to 454.560, the payment center shall disburse support payments within two business days after receipt from the employer or other source of periodic income, if sufficient information identifying the payee is provided. As used in sections 454.530 to 454.560, "business day" means a day state government offices are open for regular business. Disbursement of payments made toward arrearages may be delayed until the resolution of any timely appeal with respect to such arrearage or upon order of a court.

4. The family support payment center shall establish an electronic funds transfer system for the transfer of child support payments. Obligees who want electronic transfer of support payments to a designated account shall complete an application for direct deposit and submit it to the family support payment center. The family support payment center may issue an electronic access card for the purpose of disbursing support payments to any obligee not using automated deposit to a designated account. Any person or employer may, without penalty, choose to disburse payments to the payment center by check or draft instead of by electronic transfer.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1999 S.B. 291, A.L. 2006 S.B. 618)



Recovery of erroneously paid child support, procedures--penalty.

454.531. 1. Whenever a parent or other person receives support moneys for a child paid to him or her by the division of child support enforcement pursuant to the provisions of chapter 454, and the division subsequently determines that such payment, through no fault of the division, was erroneously made, either in good faith, or due to fraud or receipt of inaccurate information from the recipient of such support, such parent or other person shall be indebted to the division in an amount equal to the amount of the support money received by the parent or other person for that child. The division may utilize any available administrative or legal process to collect the erroneously paid support to effect recoupment and satisfaction of the debt incurred by reason of the failure of such parent or other person to reimburse the division for such erroneously paid child support. The division is also authorized to make a setoff to effect satisfaction of the debt by deduction from support moneys for that child in its possession or in the possession of any clerk of the court or other forwarding agent which would otherwise be payable to such parent or other person for the satisfaction of any support reimbursement. Nothing in this section authorizes the division to make a setoff as to current support paid during the month for which the payment is due and owing.

2. A person commits the crime of stealing, as defined by section 570.030, RSMo, if he or she knowingly retains possession of child support payments which have been erroneously paid by the division through no fault of the division and the division has requested reimbursement of such support paid, if the purpose is to deprive the division of such reimbursement, either without the consent of the division or by means of deceit or coercion.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910 4)



Family support trust fund established.

454.533. 1. All support payments collected by the payment center shall be deposited in a special trust fund, which is hereby created, to be known as the "Family Support Trust Fund". Interest, if any, earned by the money in the trust fund shall be deposited into the general revenue fund in the state treasury.

2. The moneys in the family support trust fund shall not be deemed to be state funds and shall not be commingled with any state funds. Any moneys that are payable to the state of Missouri from the trust fund shall be deposited in the state's general revenue fund.

3. The payment center shall keep accurate record of the money received and disbursed through the trust fund and such records shall be available for inspection by state and federal officers and employees, obligors, obligees and the courts authorized by law.

4. The director or division may authorize the state treasurer to make refunds to the trust fund for erroneous payments and overpayments to the state.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Records of payments and disbursements kept by division--clerks to certify records, when--non IV-D cases, procedure.

454.536. 1. The division shall maintain or cause to be maintained records showing payments and disbursements made by the payment center. The records shall be maintained in the automated child support system established pursuant to this chapter. The records shall include the amount of current support due and the total amount due for past unpaid support, and payment and disbursement records previously maintained by the circuit clerks of this state.

2. The circuit clerk shall certify the records of past payments and disbursements to the payment center at the time payments are directed to be made to the center. The payment and disbursement records of the circuit clerks, as shown on the automated child support system, shall be deemed certified by the clerks. The division or circuit clerk shall record or cause to be recorded other credits against a support order. Credits allowed pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, abatements pursuant to section 452.340, RSMo, in-kind payments pursuant to section 454.432, amounts collected from an obligor from federal and state income tax refunds, state lottery payments, Social Security payments, unemployment and workers' compensation benefits, income withholdings authorized by law, liens, garnishment* actions, and any other amounts required to be credited by state law.

3. In a case that is not a IV-D case, the division shall only record payments that are received by the payment center, with all other credits recorded by the clerk. The division may change the name and address information as shown on the automated child support system based on information received by the payment center. In cases in which payments are to be made to the payment center, obligors and obligees shall notify the payment center of any changes in their names or addresses. Such notice shall be sufficient notice for the division for purposes of section 454.413.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99

*Word "garnishments" appears in original rolls.



Admissibility of payment center records--certification by the director.

454.539. 1. A copy of records of payments to and disbursements by the payment center, including but not limited to the records maintained in the automated child support system, or a circuit clerk, including but not limited to copies produced by electronic or optically scanned means, whether certified by the division, circuit clerk or an employee of the payment center, shall be admissible without further proof or foundation in any judicial or administrative proceeding as proof of credits and payments made to or by the payment center or circuit clerk. Records include, but are not limited to, records maintained in the automated child support system.

2. The records shall be certified by the director, a circuit clerk or such clerk's designee, or an employee of the payment center, and additional proof of the official character of the person certifying such record or the authenticity of his or her signature shall not be required. The director, circuit clerk or such clerk's designee, or an employee of the payment center may certify payment and disbursement records contained or maintained in, or shown by, the automated child support system. The certification of the director, circuit clerk or such clerk's designee, or an employee of the payment center shall certify payments or disbursements regardless of who made the entry of the payment or disbursement. Such records shall constitute prima facie evidence of the amount of support paid.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Compliance with subpoenas.

454.542. If an employee of the division, a circuit clerk or an employee of the payment center is served* with a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum or an order to produce records, the employee or clerk may comply with the subpoena or order by transmitting a certified copy of the record to the requesting party. No party shall offer such records into evidence in response to a subpoena pursuant to this section unless all other parties to the action have been served with copies of such records and certification at least seven days prior to the commencement of the trial. A copy of properly certified records shall be admissible as evidence in all court or administrative proceedings.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99

*Word "serviced" appears in original rolls.



Rebuttable presumption for authenticity of certain judicial orders and documents.

454.545. 1. A copy of a judicial order and other documents on file with the court which are transmitted, whether transmitted by facsimile or other electronic means, to the division shall be rebuttably presumed to be true and correct copies of the original document, and may be offered into evidence without authentication or verification in any hearing or proceeding pursuant to this chapter.

2. A person contesting the authenticity of the document may rebut the presumption with a certified copy. The clerk shall furnish the division with certified copies upon request and without charge.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Processing fee permitted, amount.

454.548. In addition to any fees imposed pursuant to section 454.425 and if allowed by federal law, the division may charge and collect a fee of ten dollars from support received through the payment center for each order for every year or portion of a year during which payments are received by the payment center. Such fee shall be used to reimburse the state for the costs associated with processing support payments.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Certified or guaranteed check required, when--fee for insufficient funds checks, amount.

454.551. 1. The division may require, after notice to the obligor, that any check paid to the payment center by the obligor must be certified or guaranteed for payment. An originator of a check other than a payor shall not be required to pay by certified or guaranteed check, unless an insufficient funds check is received and the provisions of this section have been followed.

2. In addition to any fees imposed pursuant to section 454.425, the payment center, when authorized by the division, or the state may charge a fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars for processing an insufficient funds check as a reimbursement for the costs of processing such check, and may issue a notice to the originator of any such check that no further checks will be accepted unless the check is certified or guaranteed for payment. The division may collect the fee which shall be considered a support order for enforcement pursuant to this chapter.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Notice to obligor, when--contempt motion filed, when.

454.554. If not required by an existing order, the division or circuit clerk shall notify by first class mail any obligor under a support order, and an employer or other payor who has or will be withholding income to direct support payments to the payment center. The division shall file a copy of the notice with the court with jurisdiction over the support order. Any obligor, employer or other payor who receives notice to direct payments to the payment center and thereafter fails to direct payments to the payment center shall receive a second written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. Failure to pay the payment center after a second notice shall be grounds for contempt and a motion for contempt may be filed in the county or city not within a county in which the support order is filed.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Obligations not recorded in automated system, when.

454.557. 1. A current support obligation shall not be recorded in the records maintained in the automated child support system in the following cases:

(1) In a IV-D case with a support order pursuant to section 454.465 or 454.470 when the division determines that payments for current support are no longer due and should no longer be made to the payment center. The division shall notify by first class mail the obligor and obligee under the support orders that payments shall no longer be made to the payment center, and any withholding of income shall be terminated unless it is subsequently determined by the division or court having jurisdiction that payments will continue. The division's determination shall terminate the division's support order, but shall not terminate any obligation of support established by court order. The obligor and obligee may contest the decision of the division to terminate the division's support order by requesting a hearing within thirty days of the mailing of the notice provided pursuant to this section. The hearing shall comply with the provisions of section 454.475;

(2) In a IV-D case with a support order entered by a court when the court that issued the support order terminates such order and notifies the division. The division shall also cease enforcing the order if no past support is due; or

(3) In all cases when the child is twenty-two years of age, unless a court orders support to continue. The obligor or obligee may contest the decision of the division to terminate accruing support orders by requesting a hearing within thirty days of the mailing of notice by the division. The hearing shall comply with the provisions of section 454.475. The issue at the hearing, if any, shall be limited to a mistake of fact as to the age of the child or the existence of a court order requiring support after the age of twenty-two.

2. Nothing in this section shall affect or terminate the amount due for unpaid past support.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Payments made to center upon request.

454.559. The court shall order payments to be made to the payment center upon request of the division or attorneys representing the division.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Endorsement of negotiable instruments, when.

454.560. Payment on a support order to the payment center shall authorize the division to endorse a negotiable instrument payable to the obligee, the circuit clerk, the state or the state agency.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Report to the general assembly, when.

454.565. Beginning in 2000, the division of child support enforcement shall report to the general assembly regarding the family support payment center by December 1, 2000, and by each December first thereafter. Such report shall include recommendations and an analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.

(L. 1999 S.B. 291)

Effective 7-1-99



Definitions.

454.600. As used in sections 454.600 to 454.645, the following terms mean:

(1) "Court", any circuit court establishing a support obligation pursuant to an action under this chapter, chapter 210, RSMo, chapter 211, RSMo, or chapter 452, RSMo;

(2) "Director", the director of the division of child support enforcement of the department of social services;

(3) "Division", the division of child support enforcement of the department of social services;

(4) "Employer", any individual, organization, agency, business or corporation hiring an obligor for pay;

(5) "Health benefit plan", any benefit plan or combination of plans, other than public assistance programs, providing medical or dental care or benefits through insurance or otherwise, including but not limited to health service corporations, as defined in section 354.010, RSMo; prepaid dental plans, as defined in section 354.700, RSMo; health maintenance organization plans, as defined in section 354.400, RSMo; and self-insurance plans, to the extent allowed by federal law;

(6) "Minor child", a child for whom a support obligation exists under law;

(7) "Obligee", a person to whom a duty of support is owed or a person, including any division of the department of social services, who has commenced a proceeding for enforcement of an alleged duty of support or for registration of a support order, regardless of whether the person to whom a duty of support is owed is a recipient of public assistance;

(8) "Obligor", a person owing a duty of support or against whom a proceeding for the enforcement of a duty of support or registration of a support order is commenced; and

(9) "IV-D case", a case in which support rights have been assigned to the state of Missouri pursuant to section 208.040, RSMo, or in which the division of child support enforcement is providing support enforcement services pursuant to section 454.425, RSMo.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 3)

Effective 5-26-93



Health benefit plan may be required--terms--order of coverage--liability for expenses not covered--abatement, termination of coverage.

454.603. 1. At any state of a proceeding in which the circuit court or the division has jurisdiction to establish or modify an order for child support, including but not limited to actions brought pursuant to this chapter, chapters 210, 211, and 452, RSMo, the court or the division shall determine whether to require a parent to provide medical care for the child through a health benefit plan.

2. With or without the agreement of the parents, the court or the division may require that a child be covered under a health benefit plan. Such a requirement shall be imposed whenever a health benefit plan is available at reasonable cost through a parent's employer or union or in any IV-D case. If such a plan is not available at reasonable cost through an employer or union and the case is not a IV-D case, the court in determining whether to require a parent to provide such coverage, shall consider:

(1) The best interests of the child;

(2) The child's present and anticipated needs for medical care;

(3) The financial ability of the parents to afford the cost of a health benefit plan; and

(4) The extent to which the cost of the health benefit plan is subsidized or reduced by participation on a group basis or otherwise.

3. To the extent that such options are available under the terms of the health benefit plan, an order may specify required terms of the health benefit plan, including:

(1) Minimum required policy limits;

(2) Minimum required coverage;

(3) Maximum terms for deductibles or required co-payments; or

(4) Other significant terms, including, but not limited to, any provision required for a health benefit plan under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.

4. If the child is not covered by a health benefit plan but such a plan is available to one of the parents, the court or the division shall order that coverage under the health benefit plan be provided for the child unless there is available to the other parent a health benefit plan with comparable or better benefits at comparable or reduced cost. If health benefit plans are available to both parents upon terms which provide comparable benefits and costs, the court or the division shall determine which health benefit plan, if any, shall be required, giving due regard to the possible advantages of each plan.

5. The court shall require the obligor to be liable for all or a portion of the medical or dental expenses of the minor child that are not covered by the required health benefit plan coverage if:

(1) The court finds that the health benefit plan coverage required to be obtained by the obligor or available to the obligee does not pay all the reasonable and necessary medical or dental expenses of the minor child; and

(2) The court finds that the obligor has the financial resources to contribute to the payment of these medical or dental expenses; and

(3) The court finds the obligee has substantially complied with the terms of the health benefit coverage.

6. The cost of health benefit plan employee contributions or premiums shall not be a direct offset to child support awards established pursuant to this chapter, chapters 210, 211, and 452, RSMo, but it shall be considered when determining the amount of child support to be paid by the obligor.

7. If two or more health benefit plans are available to one or both parents that are complementary to one another or are compatible as primary and secondary coverage for the child, the court or the division may order each parent to maintain one or more health benefit plans for the child.

8. Prior to terminating enrollment in a health benefit plan or changing from one health benefit plan to another, consideration by the court or division shall be given to the child's medical condition and best interests and whether there is reason to believe that a new health benefit plan would omit or limit benefits because of a preexisting condition.

9. An abatement of a parent's child support obligation shall not automatically abate that parent's duty to provide for the child's health care needs. Unless an order of the court or the division specifically provides for abatement or termination of health care coverage, an order to maintain health benefits or otherwise provide for a child's health care needs shall continue in force until further order of the court or the division, or until the child's right to parental support terminates.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 4, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Notice to employer or union, National Medical Support Notice to be used--notice, how delivered--division duties.

454.606. 1. In all IV-D cases in which income withholding for child support is to be initiated on the effective date of the order pursuant to section 452.350, RSMo, and section 454.505, respectively, the circuit clerk or division, as appropriate, shall send a notice to the employer or union of the parent who has been ordered to provide the health benefit plan coverage at the same time the support order withholding notice is issued. In cases in which the division enforces an order to obtain health benefit plan coverage, it also shall send a notice to the employer or union of the parent who has been ordered to provide the health benefit plan coverage.

2. The notice shall be sent to the employer or union either by regular mail or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

3. The division shall use the National Medical Support Notice required by 42 U.S.C. Section 666(a)(19) and 45 C.F.R. Section 303.32 to enforce health benefit plan coverage under this chapter. All employers, unions, and plan administrators shall comply with the terms of the National Medical Support Notice, including the instructions therein, whether issued by the division or the IV-D agency of another state which appears regular on its face. The division shall:

(1) Transfer the National Medical Support Notice to an employer within two business days after the date of entry of an employee who is an obligor in a IV-D case in the state directory of new hires; and

(2) Promptly notify the appropriate employer or union if a current order for medical support for which the division is responsible is no longer in effect.

4. The notice issued by the circuit clerk shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) The parent's name and Social Security number;

(2) A statement that the parent is required to provide and maintain health benefit plan coverage for a dependent minor child; and

(3) The name, date of birth, and Social Security number, if available, for each child.

5. The notice to withhold sufficient funds from the earnings due the obligor to cover employee contributions or premiums, when necessary to comply with the order to provide health benefit plan coverage, is binding on current and successor employers for current and subsequent periods of employment. Such notice shall continue until further notice by the court or division.

6. The withholding of health benefit plan employee contributions or premiums from income, if required to comply with the order, shall not be held in abeyance pending the outcome of any hearing provided pursuant to section 454.609.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 5, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al., A.L. 2003 S.B. 330)



Notice to obligor, contents--grounds for contesting, hearing.

454.609. 1. At the same time an employer or union notice is sent pursuant to section 454.606, the circuit clerk or the division, as appropriate, shall send a notice to the obligor by any form of mail to the obligor's last known address. The information contained in that notice shall include:

(1) A statement that the parent has been directed to provide and maintain health benefit plan coverage for the benefit of a minor child;

(2) The name and date of birth of the minor child;

(3) A statement that the income withholding for health benefit coverage applies to current and subsequent periods of employment;

(4) A statement that the parent may within thirty days of the mailing date of the order or notice submit a written contest to the withholding on the grounds that the withholding is not proper because of mistake of fact or because the obligor provides other insurance that was obtained prior to issuance of the withholding order or notice that is comparable to the health benefit plan available through the employer or union or nonemployer or nonunion group;

(5) A statement that if the obligor contests the withholding, the obligor shall be afforded an opportunity to present his or her case to the court or the division within thirty days of receipt of the notice of contest;

(6) A statement of exemptions which may apply to limit the portion of the obligated party's disposable earnings which are subject to the withholding under federal or state law;

(7) The Social Security number of the obligor, if available;

(8) A statement that state law prohibits employers from retaliating against an obligor under an order to provide health benefit plan coverage and that the court or the division should be contacted if the obligor has been retaliated against by his or her employer as a result of the order for health benefit plan coverage.

2. The only grounds to contest a withholding order or notice for health benefit plan coverage sent to an employer or union shall be mistake of fact or that the obligor obtained other insurance prior to issuance of the withholding order or notice that is comparable to the health benefit plan available through the employer or union, or nonemployer or nonunion group. For purposes of sections 454.600 to 454.645, "mistake of fact" means an error as to the identity of the obligor.

3. If the obligor contests the withholding order or notice for health plan coverage because of mistake of fact or because the obligor obtained comparable insurance prior to issuance of the withholding order or notice, the court or the director shall hold a hearing, enter an order disposing of all issues disputed by the obligor and notify the obligated party of the determination and date, within forty-five days of the date of receipt of the obligated party's notice of contest.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 6, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al.)



Written proof of obligor's compliance with order--forwarding to union or employer.

454.612. 1. In cases other than IV-D cases, the obligor shall provide to the obligee within thirty days of receipt of effective notice of a court order for health benefit plan coverage pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 written proof of the obligor's compliance with that order. Compliance means either that the health benefit plan coverage has been obtained or that a correct and complete application for such coverage has been made.

2. The obligee shall forward a copy of the court order for health benefit plan coverage issued pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 to the obligor's employer or union when ordered to do so by the court or when:

(1) The obligor fails to provide written proof of compliance with the court order to the obligee within thirty days of the obligor's receipt of effective written notice of the court order;

(2) The obligee serves by mail at the obligor's known post office address written notice on the obligor of the obligee's intent to enforce the order;

(3) The obligor fails to provide, within fifteen days after the date the obligee mailed the notice provided for in this section, written proof to the obligee that the obligor has obtained the health benefit plan coverage ordered by the court or has applied for such coverage; and

(4) The obligee files an affidavit with the circuit clerk alleging that the obligor failed to provide written proof of compliance after mailing the notice required by this section to the obligor.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 7)

Effective 5-26-93



Employer or union to transfer order to group health plan--duties of plan administrator.

454.615. 1. Upon receipt of a court or administrative order, or notice, for health benefit plan coverage, the employer or union shall transfer the order or notice to the appropriate group health plan providing the health plan coverage for which the child is eligible, excluding any severable notice to withhold for health care coverage directing the employer or union to withhold any mandatory employee contribution to the plan, within twenty business days after the date of the order or notice.

2. Within forty business days after the date of the order or notice, the plan administrator shall:

(1) Notify the issuing agency whether coverage of the child is available under the terms of the plan and, if so, whether such child is covered under the plan and either the effective date of such coverage or, if necessary, any steps to be taken by the custodial parent or issuing agency to effectuate such coverage; and

(2) Provide to the custodial parent or issuing agency a description of the coverage available and any forms or documents necessary to effectuate such coverage.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 8, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al.)



Enrolling of child as eligible dependent in health benefit plan, withholding of contributions--provision of information and authorization--denial or restriction of coverage, prohibited, when.

454.618. 1. Upon receipt of the court or administrative order, or notice, for health benefit plan coverage, or upon application of the obligor pursuant to that order, the employer or union shall take necessary action to enroll the minor child as an eligible dependent in the health benefit plan and, upon enrollment, withhold any required employee contribution or premium from the obligor's income or wages necessary for the coverage of the child and send any amount withheld directly to the health benefit plan administrator. If more than one health benefit plan is offered by the employer or union, the minor child shall be enrolled in the plan in which the obligor is enrolled. When one or more plans are available and the obligor is not enrolled in a plan that covers dependents or is not enrolled in any plan, the minor child and the obligor if necessary shall be enrolled under the least costly plan that provides service to the area where the child resides if the order or notice for health benefit plan coverage is not a National Medical Support Notice issued by the division or IV-D agency of another state. If the notice for health benefit plan coverage is a National Medical Support Notice issued by the division or IV-D agency of another state, the health benefit plan administrator shall provide to the issuing agency copies of the applicable summary plan descriptions or other documents that describe available coverage, including the additional participant contribution necessary to obtain coverage for the child under each option and whether there is a limited service area for any option. The issuing agency, in consultation with the custodial parent, must promptly select from the available plan options. If the issuing agency does not make such selection within twenty business days from the date the plan administrator provided the option, the plan administrator shall enroll the child in the plan's default option, if any. If the plan does not have a default option, the plan administrator shall enroll the child in the option selected by the issuing agency.

2. In those instances where the obligor fails or refuses to execute any document necessary to enroll the minor child in the health benefit plan ordered by the court, the required information and authorization may be provided by the division or the custodial parent or guardian of the minor child.

3. Information and authorization provided by the division or the custodial parent or guardian of the minor child shall be valid for the purpose of meeting enrollment requirements of the health benefit plan and shall not affect the obligation of the employer or union and the insurer to enroll the minor child in the health benefit plan for which other eligibility, enrollment, underwriting terms and other requirements are met. However, any health benefit plan provision which denies or restricts coverage to a minor child of the obligor due to birth out of wedlock shall be void as against public policy.

4. A minor child that an obligor is required to cover as an eligible dependent pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 shall be considered for health benefit plan coverage purposes as a dependent of the obligor until the child's right to parental support terminates or until further order of the court, but in no event past the limiting age set forth in the health benefit plan.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 9, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al.)



No change of coverage required.

454.621. No health benefit plan shall be required to change coverages provided as a result of sections 454.600 to 454.645. Nothing in sections 454.600 to 454.645 shall be construed as creating a regulatory authority over the business of insurance.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 10)

Effective 5-26-93



Payment of benefit due, discharge from liability.

454.624. In the case of any claim submitted by the custodial parent for care provided to a minor child who is enrolled as an eligible dependent pursuant to an order or notice of health benefit plan coverage, the health benefit plan administrator or insurer shall, in the absence of an assignment of benefits to the health care provider with respect to such claim or proof of payment by the noncustodial parent, pay to the custodial parent any benefit due. The health benefit plan administrator or insurer shall be fully discharged from any and all liability on the claim to the extent of such payments to the custodial parent.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 11)

Effective 5-26-93



Termination of obligor's employment or coverage, notification of obligee.

454.627. When an order for health benefit plan coverage pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 is in effect, upon termination of the obligor's employment, or upon termination of the health benefit plan coverage, the employer, union or health benefit plan administrator, as appropriate, shall make a good faith effort to notify the obligee, or in IV-D cases, the division, within ten days of the termination date with notice of continuation or conversion privileges. In addition, in IV-D cases, upon termination of the obligor's employment, the employer shall promptly notify the division or IV-D agency of another state, as applicable, of the obligor's last known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 12, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al.)



Release of information.

454.630. When an order for health benefit plan coverage pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 is in effect, the obligor's employer or union shall* release to the division or obligee, upon request, information on such coverage, including the name of the administrator or insurer.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 13)

Effective 5-26-93

*Word "shall" not in original rolls, an apparent typographical error.



Failure to maintain coverage, liability, effect--parents' joint liability for medical care--action to collect percentage.

454.633. 1. An obligor who fails to maintain the health benefit plan coverage for the benefit of a minor child as ordered pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645 shall be liable to the obligee or to the state of Missouri for any medical and dental expenses or health benefit plan employee contributions or premiums incurred or paid by the obligee or the state, from the date of the court or administrative order.

2. Proof of failure to maintain health benefit plan coverage as ordered constitutes a showing of increased need by the obligee and provides a basis for an increase of the obligor's child support order.

3. As between a health care provider and the parents of a child, the parents shall be jointly and severally liable to the provider for the reasonable costs of the child's necessary medical care. As between parents, responsibility for the child's care expenses that are not covered by a health benefit plan may be equitably apportioned between the parents by the court or the division, in percentage shares based on their income, or based on a written agreement of the parties. If the order or agreement fails to designate the shares applicable to the parents, then each parent shall be liable for fifty percent of such expenses.

4. The director is hereby authorized to bring an action in circuit court on behalf of the custodial parent to collect from the obligor the appropriate percentage share of medical care expenses which were paid by the obligee and were not covered by a health care benefit plan.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 14)

Effective 5-26-93



Order of income withholding, priority--current obligation.

454.636. 1. An order of income withholding for health benefit plan coverage shall have priority over all other legal processes under state law against money, income or periodic earnings of the noncustodial parent except an order of income withholding for current child support.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 452.350, RSMo, and section 454.505, or any other provision of law to the contrary, the amount contained in an order of income withholding for health benefit plan coverage issued pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645, shall be considered a current child support obligation for purposes of applying the limitations contained in the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1673(b), and shall run concurrently with orders issued pursuant to section 452.350, RSMo, and section 454.505. However, when concurrently running wage withholding processes for the collection of support obligations, including an order for health benefit plan coverage, cause the amounts withheld from the obligor to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations, the employer shall not include the amount contained in the order of income withholding for health benefit plan coverage in determining the pro rata distribution, and shall not withhold any amount for health benefit plan coverage from an employee's wages.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 15)

Effective 5-26-93



Collection and enforcement--remedies--modification.

454.639. All remedies available for collection and enforcement of child support apply to medical support ordered pursuant to sections 454.600 to 454.645. The remedies established by sections 454.600 to 454.645 are in addition to and not in substitution for other remedies provided by law and apply without regard to when the order was entered. Either parent or the division may initiate modification proceedings to seek the addition of a provision for health benefit plan coverage to an existing court or administrative order, notwithstanding the requirement under this chapter, chapters 210, 211, and 452, RSMo, to allege or prove a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 16)

Effective 5-26-93



Compliance by employer or union, discharge of liability--termination of order.

454.642. 1. Compliance by an employer or union with the order for health benefit plan coverage operates as a discharge of liability to the obligor as to any part of the obligor's periodic earnings or other income so affected.

2. The court or the director, upon motion of the obligor and for good cause shown, may terminate the respective judicial or administrative order for health benefit plan coverage.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 17)

Effective 5-26-93



Discharge, discipline prohibited--rebuttable presumption--civil contempt proceeding authorized, procedure.

454.645. 1. An employer shall not discharge or otherwise discipline, or refuse to hire, an employee as a result of an order or notice issued pursuant to the provisions of sections 454.600 to 454.645. If any such employee is discharged within thirty days of the date upon which an order for health benefit plan coverage is to take effect, there shall arise a rebuttable presumption that such discharge was a result of such order. This presumption shall be overcome only by clear, cogent and convincing evidence produced by the employer that the employee was not terminated because of the order.

2. Any obligor who is aggrieved as a result of a violation of this section may bring a civil contempt proceeding against the employer by filing an appropriate motion in the cause of action from which the order for health benefit plan coverage was issued. The director is also authorized to bring an action in circuit court to determine whether there has been a wrongful discharge or discipline under this section.

3. In either action cited above, if the court finds that the employer discharged, disciplined, or refused to hire the obligated parent as a result of the order or notice, the court may order the employer to reinstate or hire the obligor, or rescind any wrongful disciplinary action. Further, the court may enter judgment against the employer for the back wages, costs, attorney's fees, and for the amount of health benefit plan employee or employer contributions or premiums and child support which should have been withheld and paid over by the employer during the period of time the employee was wrongfully discharged. If, after the entry of such an order, the employer refuses without good cause to comply with the court's order, or if the employer fails to comply with the health benefit plan coverage notice, the court may, after notice to the employer and a hearing, impose a fine against the employer, not to exceed five hundred dollars.

(L. 1993 S.B. 253 18)

Effective 5-26-93



Insurer to permit enrollment, when--duties of employer--garnishment of income permitted, when.

454.700. 1. In any case in which a parent is required by a court or administrative order to provide medical coverage for a child, under any health benefit plan, as defined in section 454.600, and a parent is eligible through employment, under the provisions of the federal Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) or the provisions of section 376.892, RSMo, or for health coverage through an insurer or group health plan, any insurers, including group health plans as defined in Section 607(1) of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, offering, issuing, or renewing policies in this state on or after July 1, 1994, shall:

(1) Permit such parent to enroll under such coverage any such child who is otherwise eligible for such coverage, without regard to any enrollment season restrictions;

(2) Permit enrollment of a child under coverage upon application by the child's other parent, the division of child support enforcement, the division of medical services, or the tribunal of another state, if the parent required by a court or administrative order to provide health coverage fails to make application to obtain coverage for such child;

(3) Not disenroll or eliminate coverage of a child unless:

(a) The insurer is provided satisfactory written evidence that such court or administrative order is no longer in effect; or

(b) The insurer is provided satisfactory written evidence that the child is or will be enrolled in comparable health coverage through another insurer which will take effect no later than the effective date of the disenrollment; or

(c) The employer or union eliminates family health coverage for all of its employees or members; or

(d) Any available continuation coverage is not elected or the period of such coverage expires.

2. In any case in which a parent is required by a court or administrative order to provide medical coverage for a child, under any health benefit plan, as defined in section 454.600, and the parent is eligible for such health coverage through an employer doing business in Missouri, the employer or union shall:

(1) Permit such parent to enroll under such family coverage any such child who is otherwise eligible for such coverage, without regard to any enrollment season restrictions;

(2) Enroll a child under family coverage upon application by the child's other parent, the division of child support enforcement, the division of medical services, or a tribunal of another state, if a parent is enrolled but fails to make application to obtain coverage of such child; and

(3) Not disenroll or eliminate coverage of any such child unless:

(a) The employer or union is provided satisfactory written evidence that such court or administrative order is no longer in effect; or

(b) The employer or union is provided satisfactory written evidence that the child is or will be enrolled in comparable health coverage through another insurer which will take effect not later than the effective date of such disenrollment; or

(c) The employer or union has eliminated family health coverage for all of its employees or members.

3. No insurer may impose any requirements on a state agency, which has been assigned the rights of an individual eligible for medical assistance under chapter 208, RSMo, and covered for health benefits from the insurer, that are different from requirements applicable to an agent or assignee of any other individual so covered.

4. All insurers shall in any case in which a child has health coverage through the insurer of a noncustodial parent:

(1) Provide such information to the custodial parent or legal guardian as may be necessary for the child to obtain benefits through such coverage;

(2) Permit the custodial parent or legal guardian, or provider, with the custodial parent's approval, to submit claims for covered services without the approval of the noncustodial parent; and

(3) Make payment on claims submitted in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection directly to the parent, the provider, or the division of medical services.

5. The division of medical services may garnish the wages, salary, or other employment income of, and require withholding amounts from state tax refunds, pursuant to section 143.783, RSMo, to any person who:

(1) Is required by court or administrative order to provide coverage of the costs of health services to a child who is eligible for medical assistance under Medicaid; and

(2) Has received payment from a third party for the costs of such services to such child, but has not used such payment to reimburse, as appropriate, either the other parent or guardian of such child or the provider of such services, to the extent necessary to reimburse the division of medical services for expenditures for such costs under its plan. However, claims for current or past due child support shall take priority over claims by the division of medical services.

6. The remedies for the collection and enforcement of medical support established in this section are in addition to and not in substitution for other remedies provided by law and apply without regard to when the order was entered.

(L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al.)



Definitions.

454.800. As used in sections 454.800 to 454.808, the following terms mean:

(1) "Advance planning documents", a series of documents including updates covering the various phases of the project submitted to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement for review and approval;

(2) "Project" or "system", the comprehensive, statewide automated system developed and implemented by the division of child support enforcement in compliance with section 454 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 654);

(3) "Steering committee", the statewide automated system steering committee.

(L. 1990 S.B. 834 1)

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Statewide automated steering committee appointed, qualifications.

454.802. The director of the department of social services shall appoint a "Statewide Automated System Steering Committee", which shall be composed of the following members:

(1) The state courts administrator or his designee;

(2) The director of the department of social services or his designee;

(3) The director of the division of child support enforcement or his designee;

(4) The director of the division of family services or his designee;

(5) The director of the division of data processing of the department of social services or his designee;

(6) Three or more prosecuting attorneys or their designees. Such prosecuting attorneys shall be appointed from a list submitted to the director from the Missouri office of prosecution services;

(7) Two or more circuit clerks or their designees;

(8) Three or more representatives from the private sector, two of whom shall be representatives of business and one of whom shall be a custodial parent; and

(9) Such other interested parties as the director may deem appropriate.

(L. 1990 S.B. 834 2)

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Terms of committee--expenses.

454.804. Steering committee members shall serve as long as they hold the position that made them eligible for the membership on the steering committee, or until they are replaced by the director of the department of social services. Members shall serve without additional compensation, but may be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties for the commission.

(L. 1990 S.B. 834 3)

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Committee's duties and powers.

454.806. The steering committee shall advise the department of social services regarding the development and implementation of a comprehensive statewide automated system for child support enforcement that meets all functional requirements for federal funding under 42 U.S.C. 654. The automated system shall not alter program functions delegated to the department of social services, prosecuting attorneys, circuit attorneys, and circuit clerks by chapters 208, 210, 452, and 454, RSMo. The system shall be the sole child support enforcement system undertaken by the state.

(L. 1990 S.B. 834 4)

Effective 7-12-90



Definitions.

454.850. In sections 454.850 to 454.997:

(1) "Child" means an individual, whether over or under the age of majority, who is or is alleged to be owed a duty of support by the individual's parent or who is or is alleged to be the beneficiary of a support order directed to the parent.

(2) "Child support order" means a support order for a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority under the law of the issuing state.

(3) "Duty of support" means an obligation imposed or imposable by law to provide support for a child, spouse, or former spouse, including an unsatisfied obligation to provide support.

(4) "Home state" means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the time of filing of a petition or comparable pleading for support and, if a child is less than six months old, the state in which the child lived from birth with any of them. A period of temporary absence of any of them is counted as part of the six-month or other period.

(5) "Income" includes earnings or other periodic entitlements to money from any source and any other property subject to withholding for support under the law of this state.

(6) "Income-withholding order" means an order or other legal process directed to an obligor's employer or other debtor, as defined by section 452.350, RSMo, or 454.505, to withhold support from the income of the obligor.

(7) "Initiating state" means a state from which a proceeding is forwarded or in which a proceeding is filed for forwarding to a responding state under the provisions of sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law or procedure substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997, or under a law or procedure substantially similar to the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, or the revised uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act .

(8) "Initiating tribunal" means the authorized tribunal in an initiating state.

(9) "Issuing state" means the state in which a tribunal issues a support order or renders a judgment determining parentage.

(10) "Issuing tribunal" means the tribunal that issues a support order or renders a judgment determining parentage.

(11) "Law" includes decisional and statutory law and rules and regulations having the force of law.

(12) "Obligee" means:

(i) an individual to whom a duty of support is or is alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order has been issued or a judgment determining parentage has been rendered;

(ii) a state or political subdivision to which the rights under a duty of support or support order have been assigned or which has independent claims based on financial assistance provided to an individual obligee; or

(iii) an individual seeking a judgment determining parentage of the individual's child.

(13) "Obligor" means an individual, or the estate of a decedent:

(i) who owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support;

(ii) who is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a parent of a child; or

(iii) who is liable under a support order.

(14) "Register" means to record or file a support order or judgment determining parentage in the tribunal having jurisdiction in such action.

(15) "Registering tribunal" means a tribunal in which a support order is registered.

(16) "Responding state" means a state in which a proceeding is filed or to which a proceeding is forwarded for filing from an initiating state under the provisions of sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997, or under a law or procedure substantially similar to the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, or the revised uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act.

(17) "Responding tribunal" means the authorized tribunal in a responding state.

(18) "Spousal-support order" means a support order for a spouse or former spouse of the obligor.

(19) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term "state" includes:

(i) an Indian tribe; and

(ii) a foreign jurisdiction that has enacted a law or established procedures for issuance and enforcement of support orders which are substantially similar to the procedures under sections 454.850 to 454.997 or the procedures under the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act or the revised uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act.

(20) "Support enforcement agency" means a public official or agency authorized to seek:

(i) enforcement of support orders or laws relating to the duty of support;

(ii) establishment or modification of child support;

(iii) determination of parentage; or

(iv) to locate obligors or their assets.

(21) "Support order" means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary, final, or subject to modification, for the benefit of a child, a spouse, or a former spouse, which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or reimbursement, and may include related costs and fees, interest, income withholding, attorney's fees, and other relief.

(22) "Tribunal" means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

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Tribunals in Missouri.

454.853. The courts and the division of child support enforcement are the tribunals of this state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

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Remedies, cumulative.

454.855. Remedies provided by sections 454.850 to 454.997 are cumulative and do not affect the availability of remedies under other law.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

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Jurisdiction, extended personal jurisdiction.

454.857. In a proceeding to establish, enforce, or modify a support order or to determine parentage, a tribunal of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual's guardian or conservator if:

(1) the individual is personally served with notice within this state;

(2) the individual submits to the jurisdiction of this state by consent, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction;

(3) the individual resided with the child in this state;

(4) the individual resided in this state and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child;

(5) the child resides in this state as a result of the acts or directives of the individual;

(6) the individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this state and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse;

(7) the individual asserted parentage in the putative father registry maintained in this state by the department of health and senior services; or

(8) there is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

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Jurisdiction, evidence and discovery from a foreign state--conflict of laws.

454.860. A tribunal of this state exercising personal jurisdiction over a nonresident under section 454.857 may apply section 454.917 to receive evidence from another state, and section 454.922 to obtain discovery through a tribunal of another state. In all other respects, sections 454.880 to 454.983 do not apply and the tribunal shall apply the procedural and substantive law of this state, including the rules on choice of law other than those established by sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Tribunal of this state may be initiating or responding tribunal.

454.862. Under sections 454.850 to 454.997, a tribunal of this state may serve as an initiating tribunal to forward proceedings to another state and as a responding tribunal for proceedings initiated in another state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction may be exercised, when--jurisdiction not proper, when.

454.865. (a) A tribunal of this state may exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order if the petition or comparable pleading is filed after a petition or comparable pleading is filed in another state only if:

(1) the petition or comparable pleading in this state is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other state for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by the other state;

(2) the contesting party timely challenges the exercise of jurisdiction in the other state; and

(3) if relevant, this state is the home state of the child.

(b) A tribunal of this state may not exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order if the petition or comparable pleading is filed before a petition or comparable pleading is filed in another state if:

(1) the petition or comparable pleading in the other state is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in this state for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by this state;

(2) the contesting party timely challenges the exercise of jurisdiction in this state; and

(3) if relevant, the other state is the home state of the child.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

Effective 1-1-97



Jurisdiction, proceedings involving a foreign tribunal, exclusive jurisdiction, modifications of orders, loss of exclusive jurisdiction, recognition of foreign jurisdiction, effect of temporary support order on jurisdiction, spousal support order.

454.867. (a) A tribunal of this state issuing a support order consistent with the law of this state has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a child support order:

(1) as long as this state remains the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued; or

(2) until each individual party has filed written consent with the tribunal of this state for a tribunal of another state to modify the order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

(b) A tribunal of this state issuing a child support order consistent with the law of this state may not exercise its continuing jurisdiction to modify the order if the order has been modified by a tribunal of another state pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(c) If a child support order of this state is modified by a tribunal of another state pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997, a tribunal of this state loses its continuing, exclusive jurisdiction with regard to prospective enforcement of the order issued in this state, and may only:

(1) enforce the order that was modified as to amounts accruing before the modification;

(2) enforce nonmodifiable aspects of that order; and

(3) provide other appropriate relief for violations of that order which occurred before the effective date of the modification.

(d) A tribunal of this state shall recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of a tribunal of another state which has issued a child support order pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(e) A temporary support order issued ex parte or pending resolution of a jurisdictional conflict does not create continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in the issuing tribunal.

(f) A tribunal of this state issuing a support order consistent with the law of this state has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support order throughout the existence of the support obligation. A tribunal of this state may not modify a spousal support order issued by a tribunal of another state having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over that order under the law of that state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction, proceedings involving a foreign tribunal, tribunal requests to enforce or modify support orders.

454.869. (a) A tribunal of this state may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to enforce or modify a support order issued in that state.

(b) A tribunal of this state having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a support order may act as a responding tribunal to enforce or modify the order. If a party subject to the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunal no longer resides in the issuing state, in subsequent proceedings the tribunal may apply section 454.917 to receive evidence from another state and section 454.922 to obtain discovery through a tribunal of another state.

(c) A tribunal of this state which lacks continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support order may not serve as a responding tribunal to modify a spousal support order of another state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction, multiple support orders--which order recognized, procedure.

454.871. (a) If a proceeding is brought under sections 454.850 to 454.997, and only one tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that tribunal is controlling and must be recognized.

(b) If a proceeding is brought under sections 454.850 to 454.997, and two or more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of this state or another state with regard to the same obligor and child, a tribunal of this state shall apply the following rules in determining which order to recognize for purposes of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction:

(1) If only one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under sections 454.850 to 454.997, the order of that tribunal is controlling and must be recognized.

(2) If more than one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under sections 454.850 to 454.997, an order issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child must be recognized, but if an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child, the order most recently issued is controlling and must be recognized.

(3) If none of the tribunals would have continuing exclusive jurisdiction under sections 454.850 to 454.997, the tribunal of this state having jurisdiction over the parties must issue a child support order, which is controlling and must be recognized.

(c) If two or more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and child and if the obligor or the individual obligee resides in this state, a party may request a tribunal of this state to determine which order controls and must be recognized under subsection (b) of this section. The request must be accompanied by a certified copy of every support order in effect. Every party whose rights may be affected by a determination of the controlling order must be given notice of the request for that determination.

(d) The tribunal that issued the order that must be recognized as controlling under subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section is the tribunal that has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in accordance with section 454.867.

(e) A tribunal of this state which determines by order the identity of the controlling child support order under subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section or which issues a new controlling child support order under subsection (b)(3) shall include in that order the basis upon which the tribunal made its determination.

(f) Within thirty days after issuance of the order determining the identity of the controlling order, the party obtaining that order shall file a certified copy of it with each tribunal that had issued or registered an earlier order of child support. Failure of the party obtaining the order to file a certified copy as required subjects that party to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises, but that failure has no effect on the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction, multiple registrations or petitions for support orders, manner of treatment.

454.874. In responding to multiple registrations or petitions for enforcement of two or more child support orders in effect at the same time with regard to the same obligor and different individual obligees, at least one of which was issued by a tribunal of another state, a tribunal of this state shall enforce those orders in the same manner as if the multiple orders had been issued by a tribunal of this state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

Effective 1-1-97



Collections pursuant to order of foreign tribunal, credited, how.

454.877. Amounts collected and credited for a particular period pursuant to a support order issued by a tribunal of another state must be credited against the amounts accruing or accrued for the same period under a support order issued by the tribunal of this state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Proceedings authorized, commencement of proceedings.

454.880. (a) Except as otherwise provided in sections 454.850 to 454.997, this article applies to all proceedings under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(b) Sections 454.850 to 454.997, provide for the following proceedings:

(1) establishment of an order for spousal support or child support pursuant to section 454.930;

(2) enforcement of a support order and income withholding order of another state without registration pursuant to sections 454.932 to 454.946;

(3) registration of an order for spousal support or child support of another state for enforcement pursuant to sections 454.948 to 454.981;

(4) modification of an order for child support or spousal support issued by a tribunal of this state pursuant to sections 454.862 to 454.869;

(5) registration of an order for child support of another state for modification pursuant to sections 454.948 to 454.981;

(6) determination of parentage pursuant to section 454.983; and

(7) assertion of jurisdiction over nonresidents pursuant to sections 454.857 to 454.860.

(c) An individual petitioner or a support enforcement agency may commence a proceeding authorized under sections 454.850 to 454.997, by filing a petition in an initiating tribunal for forwarding to a responding tribunal or by filing a petition or a comparable pleading directly in a tribunal of another state which has or can obtain personal jurisdiction over the respondent.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Minor, proceeding on behalf of.

454.882. A minor parent, or a guardian or other legal representative of a minor parent, may maintain a proceeding on behalf of or for the benefit of the minor's child.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Applicable law, choice of law.

454.885. Except as otherwise provided by sections 454.850 to 454.997, a responding tribunal of this state:

(1) shall apply the procedural and substantive law, including the rules on choice of law, generally applicable to similar proceedings originating in this state and may exercise all powers and provide all remedies available in those proceedings; and

(2) shall determine the duty of support and the amount payable in accordance with the law and support guidelines of this state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Copies of petition and documents forwarded.

454.887. (a) Upon the filing of a petition authorized by sections 454.850 to 454.997, an initiating tribunal of this state shall forward three copies of the petition and its accompanying documents:

(1) to the responding tribunal or appropriate support enforcement agency in the responding state; or

(2) if the identity of the responding tribunal is unknown, to the state information agency of the responding state with a request that they be forwarded to the appropriate tribunal and that receipt be acknowledged.

(b) If a responding state has not enacted the uniform interstate family support act or a law or procedure substantially similar to the uniform interstate family support act, a tribunal of this state may issue a certificate or other documents and make findings required by the law of the responding state. If the responding state is a foreign jurisdiction, the tribunal may specify the amount of support sought and provide other documents necessary to satisfy the requirements of the responding state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Receipt of petition by state tribunal, notification of petitioner, powers of court.

454.890. (a) When a responding tribunal of this state receives a petition or comparable pleading from an initiating tribunal or directly pursuant to subsection (c) of section 454.880, it shall cause the petition or pleading to be filed and notify the petitioner where and when it was filed.

(b) A responding tribunal of this state, to the extent otherwise authorized by law, may do one or more of the following:

(1) issue or enforce a support order, modify a child support order, or render a judgment to determine parentage;

(2) order an obligor to comply with a support order, specifying the amount and the manner of compliance;

(3) order income withholding;

(4) determine the amount of any arrearages, and specify a method of payment;

(5) enforce orders by civil or criminal contempt, or both;

(6) set aside property for satisfaction of the support order;

(7) place liens and order execution on the obligor's property;

(8) order an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of the obligor's current residential address, telephone number, employer, address of employment, and telephone number at the place of employment;

(9) issue a bench warrant for an obligor who has failed after proper notice to appear at a hearing ordered by the tribunal and enter the bench warrant in any local and state computer systems for criminal warrants;

(10) order the obligor to seek appropriate employment by specified methods;

(11) award reasonable attorney's fees and other fees and costs; and

(12) grant any other available remedy.

(c) A responding tribunal of this state shall include a support order issued under sections 454.850 to 454.997, or in the documents accompanying the order, the calculations on which the support order is based.

(d) A responding tribunal of this state may not condition the payment of a support order issued under sections 454.850 to 454.997, upon compliance by a party with provisions for visitation.

(e) If a responding tribunal of this state issues an order under sections 454.850 to 454.997, the tribunal shall send a copy of the order to the petitioner and the respondent and to the initiating tribunal, if any.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Receipt by inappropriate tribunal, petition and documents, forwarded, notification.

454.892. If a petition or comparable pleading is received by an inappropriate tribunal of this state, it shall forward the pleading and accompanying documents to an appropriate tribunal in this state or another state and notify the petitioner by first class mail where and when the pleading was sent.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

Effective 1-1-97



Proceeding, services provided by support enforcement agency.

454.895. (a) A support enforcement agency of this state, upon request, shall provide services to a petitioner in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(b) A support enforcement agency that is providing services to the petitioner as appropriate shall:

(1) take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate tribunal in this state or another state to obtain jurisdiction over the respondent;

(2) request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time, and place for a hearing;

(3) make a reasonable effort to obtain all relevant information, including information as to income and property of the parties;

(4) within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receipt of a written notice from an initiating, responding, or registering tribunal, send a copy of the notice to the petitioner;

(5) within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receipt of a written communication from the respondent or the respondent's attorney, send a copy of the communication to the petitioner; and

(6) notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the respondent cannot be obtained.

(c) Sections 454.850 to 454.997, do not create or negate a relationship of attorney and client or other fiduciary relationship between a support enforcement agency or the attorney for the agency and the individual being assisted by the agency.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Attorney general's order on neglect by support enforcement agency's duties.

454.897. If the attorney general determines that the support enforcement agency is neglecting or refusing to provide services to an individual, the attorney general may order the agency to perform its duties under sections 454.850 to 454.997 or may provide those services directly to the individual.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Representation by counsel.

454.900. An individual may employ private counsel to represent the individual in proceedings authorized by sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Division of child support enforcement is state information agency, duties.

454.902. (a) The division of child support enforcement is the state information agency under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(b) The state information agency shall:

(1) compile and maintain a current list, including addresses, of the tribunals in this state which have jurisdiction under sections 454.850 to 454.997, and any support enforcement agencies in this state and transmit a copy to the state information agency of every other state;

(2) maintain a register of tribunals and support enforcement agencies received from other states;

(3) forward to the appropriate tribunal in the place in this state in which the individual obligee or the obligor resides, or in which the obligor's property is believed to be located, all documents concerning a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997, received from an initiating tribunal or the state information agency of the initiating state; and

(4) obtain information concerning the location of the obligor and the obligor's property within this state not exempt from execution, by such means as postal verification and federal or state locator services, examination of telephone directories, requests for the obligor's address from employers, and examination of governmental records, including, to the extent not prohibited by other law, those relating to real property, vital statistics, law enforcement, taxation, motor vehicles, driver's licenses, and Social Security.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Petitions, verification requirements.

454.905. (a) A petitioner seeking to establish or modify a support order or to determine parentage in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997, must verify the petition. Unless otherwise ordered under section 454.907, the petition or accompanying documents must provide, so far as known, the name, residential address, and Social Security numbers of the obligor and the obligee, and the name, sex, residential address, Social Security number, and date of birth of each child for whom support is sought. The petition must be accompanied by a certified copy of any support order in effect. The petition may include any other information that may assist in locating or identifying the respondent.

(b) The petition must specify the relief sought. The petition and accompanying documents must conform substantially with the requirements imposed by the forms mandated by federal law for use in cases filed by a support enforcement agency.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Pleadings, nondisclosure of information.

454.907. Upon a finding, which may be made ex parte, that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information, or if an existing order so provides, a tribunal shall order that the address of the child or party or other identifying information not be disclosed in a pleading or other document filed in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Payment of fees and costs, attorney's fees.

454.910. (a) The petitioner may not be required to pay a filing fee or other costs.

(b) If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal may assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, other costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by the obligee and the obligee's witnesses. The tribunal may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against the obligee or the support enforcement agency of either the initiating or the responding state, except as provided by other law. Attorney's fees may be taxed as costs, and may be ordered paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name. Payment of support owed to the obligee has priority over fees, costs and expenses.

(c) The tribunal shall order the payment of costs and reasonable attorney's fees if it determines that a hearing was requested primarily for delay. In a proceeding under sections 454.948 to 454.981, a hearing is presumed to have been requested primarily for delay if a registered support order is confirmed or enforced without change.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction, personal, not obtained for another proceeding, immunity from service of process, when.

454.912. (a) Participation by a petitioner in a proceeding before a responding tribunal, whether in person, by private attorney, or through services provided by the support enforcement agency, does not confer personal jurisdiction over the petitioner in another proceeding.

(b) A petitioner is not amenable to service of civil process while physically present in this state to participate in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(c) The immunity granted by this section does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997, committed by a party while present in this state to participate in the proceeding.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Parentage, previous determination, effect on defense of nonparentage.

454.915. A party whose parentage of a child has been previously determined by or pursuant to law may not plead nonparentage as a defense to a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Presence of petitioner for jurisdiction of tribunal, evidence admissible.

454.917. (a) The physical presence of the petitioner in a responding tribunal of this state is not required for the establishment, enforcement, or modification of a support order or the rendition of a judgment determining parentage.

(b) A verified petition, affidavit, document substantially complying with federally mandated forms, and a document incorporated by reference in any of them, not excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person, is admissible in evidence if given under oath by a party or witness residing in another state.

(c) A copy of the record of child support payments certified as a true copy of the original by the custodian of the record may be forwarded to a responding tribunal. The copy is evidence of facts asserted in it, and is admissible to show whether payments were made.

(d) Copies of bills for testing for parentage, and for prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child, furnished to the adverse party at least ten days before trial, are admissible in evidence to prove the amount of the charges billed and that the charges were reasonable, necessary, and customary.

(e) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a tribunal of this state by telephone, telecopier, or other means that do not provide an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

(f) In a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997, a tribunal of this state may permit a party or witness residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means at a designated tribunal or other location in that state. A tribunal of this state shall cooperate with tribunals of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

(g) If a party called to testify at a civil hearing refuses to answer on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the trier of fact may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.

(h) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses does not apply in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(i) The defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife or parent and child does not apply in a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Inquiries between tribunals, communication means permitted.

454.920. A tribunal of this state may communicate with a tribunal of another state in writing, or by telephone or other means, to obtain information concerning the laws of that state, the legal effect of a judgment, decree, or order of that tribunal, and the status of a proceeding in the other state. A tribunal of this state may furnish similar information by similar means to a tribunal of another state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

Effective 1-1-97



Discovery, request of assistance between tribunals.

454.922. A tribunal of this state may:

(1) request a tribunal of another state to assist in obtaining discovery; and

(2) upon request, compel a person over whom it has jurisdiction to respond to a discovery order issued by a tribunal of another state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992)

Effective 1-1-97



Disbursements, statement furnished.

454.927. A support enforcement agency or tribunal of this state shall disburse promptly any amounts received pursuant to a support order, as directed by the order. The agency or tribunal shall furnish to a requesting party or tribunal of another state a certified statement by the custodian of the record of the amounts and dates of all payments received.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Support orders issued, when, temporary child support order issued, when.

454.930. (a) If a support order entitled to recognition under sections 454.850 to 454.997, has not been issued, a responding tribunal of this state may issue a support order if:

(1) the individual seeking the order resides in another state; or

(2) the support enforcement agency seeking the order is located in another state.

(b) The tribunal may issue a temporary child support order if:

(1) the respondent has signed a verified statement acknowledging parentage;

(2) the respondent has been determined by or pursuant to law to be the parent; or

(3) there is other clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is the child's parent.

(c) Upon finding, after notice and opportunity to be heard, that an obligor owes a duty of support, the tribunal shall issue a support order directed to the obligor and may issue other orders pursuant to section 454.890.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Income withholding order, issued in another state.

454.932. An income withholding order issued in another state may be sent to the person or entity defined as the obligor's employer under section 452.350, RSMo, or section 454.505 without first filing a petition or comparable pleading or registering the order with a tribunal of this state.

(L. 1996 H.B. 992, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Income withholding orders, employer's duties.

454.934. (a) Upon receipt of the order, the obligor's employer shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the obligor.

(b) The employer shall treat an income withholding order issued in another state which appears regular on its face as if it had been issued by a tribunal of this state.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section and section 454.936, the employer shall withhold and distribute the funds as directed in the withholding order by complying with the terms of the order, as applicable, that specify:

(1) the duration and the amount of periodic payments of current child support, stated as a sum certain;

(2) the person or agency designated to receive payments and the address to which the payments are to be forwarded;

(3) medical support, whether in the form of periodic cash payment, stated as a sum certain, or ordering the obligor to provide health insurance coverage for the child under a policy available through the obligor's employment;

(4) the amount of periodic payments of fees and costs for a support enforcement agency, the issuing tribunal, and the obligee's attorney, stated as sums certain; and

(5) the amount of periodic payments of arrears and interest on arrears, stated as sums certain.

(d) The employer shall comply with the law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment for withholding from income with respect to:

(1) the employer's fee for processing an income withholding order;

(2) the maximum amount permitted to be withheld from the obligor's income;

(3) the time periods within which the employer must implement the withholding order and forward the child support payment.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Multiple orders to withhold support, compliance of employer, when.

454.936. If the obligor's employer receives multiple orders to withhold support from the earnings of the same obligor, the employer shall be deemed to have satisfied the terms of the multiple orders if the employer complied with the law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment to establish the priorities for withholding and allocating income withheld for multiple child support orders.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Immunity from civil liability of employer for compliance.

454.938. An employer who complies with an income withholding order issued in another state in accordance with sections 454.932 to 454.946, is not subject to civil liability to any individual or agency with regard to the employer's withholding child support from the obligor's income.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Penalties for noncompliance of employer.

454.941. An employer who willfully fails to comply with an income withholding order issued by another state and received for enforcement is subject to the same penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance with an order issued by a tribunal of this state.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Validity of income withholding contested, procedure.

454.943. (a) An obligor may contest the validity or enforcement of an income withholding order issued in another state and received directly by an employer in this state in the same manner as if the order had been issued by a tribunal of this state. Section 454.956 applies to the contest.

(b) The obligor shall give notice of the contest to:

(1) a support enforcement agency providing services to the obligee;

(2) each employer which has directly received an income withholding order; and

(3) the person or agency designated to receive payments in the income withholding order, or if no person or agency is designated, to the obligee.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Foreign tribunal's order enforced, when, procedure.

454.946. (a) A party seeking to enforce a support order or an income withholding order, or both, issued by a tribunal of another state may send the documents required for registering the order to a support enforcement agency of this state.

(b) Upon receipt of the documents, the support enforcement agency, without initially seeking to register the order, shall consider and, if appropriate, use any administrative procedure authorized by the law of this state to enforce a support order or an income withholding order, or both. If the obligor does not contest administrative enforcement, the order need not be registered. If the obligor contests the validity or administrative enforcement of the order, the support enforcement agency shall register the order pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Registration of a foreign tribunal's order required.

454.948. A support order or an income withholding order issued by a tribunal of another state may be registered in this state for enforcement.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Procedure for registering a foreign tribunal's order.

454.951. (a) A support order or income withholding order of another state may be registered in this state by sending the following documents and information to the appropriate tribunal in this state:

(1) a letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting registration and enforcement;

(2) two copies, including one certified copy, of all orders to be registered, including any modification of an order;

(3) a sworn statement by the party seeking registration or a certified statement by the custodian of the records showing the amount of any arrearage;

(4) the name of the obligor and, if known:

(i) the obligor's address and Social Security number;

(ii) the name and address of the obligor's employer and any other source of income of the obligor; and

(iii) a description and the location of property of the obligor in this state not exempt from execution; and

(5) the name and address of the obligee and, if applicable, the agency or person to whom support payments are to be remitted.

(b) On receipt of a request for registration, the registering tribunal shall cause the order to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of the documents and information, regardless of their form.

(c) A petition or comparable pleading seeking a remedy that must be affirmatively sought under other law of this state may be filed at the same time as the request for registration or later. The pleading must specify the grounds for the remedy sought.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Registration is complete and enforceable when.

454.953. (a) A support order or income withholding order issued in another state is registered when the order is filed in the registering tribunal of this state.

(b) A registered order issued in another state is enforceable in the same manner and is subject to the same procedures as an order issued by a tribunal of this state.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in sections 454.948 to 454.981, a tribunal of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, a registered order if the issuing tribunal had jurisdiction.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Issuing state law governs--statute of limitations.

454.956. (a) The law of the issuing state governs the nature, extent, amount, and duration of current payments and other obligations of support and the payment of arrearages under the order.

(b) In a proceeding for arrearages, the statute of limitation under the laws of this state or of the issuing state, whichever is longer, applies.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Notification of nonregistering party, procedure.

454.958. (a) When a support order or income withholding order issued in another state is registered, the registering tribunal shall notify the nonregistering party. The notice must be accompanied by a copy of the registered order and the documents and relevant information accompanying the order.

(b) The notice must inform the nonregistering party:

(1) that a registered order is enforceable as of the date of registration in the same manner as an order issued by a tribunal of this state;

(2) that a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order must be requested within twenty days after the date of mailing or personal service of the notice;

(3) that failure to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner will result in confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and the alleged arrearages and precludes further contest of that order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted; and

(4) of the amount of any alleged arrearages.

(c) Upon registration of an income withholding order for enforcement, the registering tribunal shall notify the obligor's employer pursuant to section 452.350, RSMo, or section 454.505.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Nonregistering party's contest of a support order, procedure, effect.

454.961. (a) A nonregistering party seeking to contest the validity or enforcement of a registered order in this state shall request a hearing within twenty days after the date of mailing or personal service of notice of the registration. The nonregistering party may seek to vacate the registration, to assert any defense to an allegation of noncompliance with the registered order, or to contest the remedies being sought or the amount of any alleged arrearages pursuant to section 454.963.

(b) If the nonregistering party fails to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law.

(c) If a nonregistering party requests a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order, the registering tribunal shall schedule the matter for hearing and give notice to the parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Burden of proof, contest by nonregistering party.

454.963. (a) A party contesting the validity or enforcement of a registered order or seeking to vacate the registration has the burden of proving one or more of the following defenses:

(1) the issuing tribunal lacked personal jurisdiction over the contesting party;

(2) the order was obtained by fraud;

(3) the order has been vacated, suspended, or modified by a later order;

(4) the issuing tribunal has stayed the order pending appeal;

(5) there is a defense under the law of this state to the remedy sought;

(6) full or partial payment has been made; or

(7) the statute of limitation under section 454.956 precludes enforcement of some or all of the arrearages.

(b) If a party presents evidence establishing a full or partial defense under subsection (a), a tribunal may stay enforcement of the registered order, continue the proceeding to permit production of additional relevant evidence, and issue other appropriate orders. An uncontested portion of the registered order may be enforced by all remedies available under the law of this state.

(c) If the contesting party does not establish a defense under subsection (a) to the validity or enforcement of the order, the registering tribunal shall issue an order confirming the order.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Confirmation of registration.

454.966. Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Modifications of foreign tribunal's orders registered how, when.

454.968. A party or support enforcement agency seeking to modify, or to modify and enforce, a child support order issued in another state shall register that order in this state in the same manner provided in sections 454.948 to 454.956 if the order has not been registered. A petition for modification may be filed at the same time as a request for registration, or later. The pleading must specify the grounds for modification.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Modifications of foreign tribunal's orders enforced, when.

454.971. A tribunal of this state may enforce a child support order of another state registered for purposes of modification, in the same manner as if the order had been issued by a tribunal of this state, but the registered order may be modified only if the requirements of section 454.973 have been met.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Modification of an order issued in a foreign tribunal permitted, when.

454.973. (a) After a child support order issued in another state has been registered in this state, unless the provisions of section 454.978 apply, the responding tribunal of this state may modify that order only if, after notice and hearing, it finds that:

(1) the following requirements are met:

(i) the child, the individual obligee, and the obligor do not reside in the issuing state;

(ii) a petitioner who is a nonresident of this state seeks modification; and

(iii) the respondent is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal of this state; or

(2) an individual party or the child is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal and all of the individual parties have filed a written consent in the issuing tribunal providing that a tribunal of this state may modify the support order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the order. However, if the issuing state is a foreign jurisdiction which has not enacted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, as amended, the written consent of the individual party residing in this state is not required for the tribunal to assume jurisdiction to modify the child support order.

(b) Modification of a registered child support order is subject to the same requirements, procedures, and defenses that apply to the modification of an order issued by a tribunal of this state and the order may be enforced and satisfied in the same manner.

(c) A tribunal of this state may not modify any aspect of a child support order that may not be modified under the law of the issuing state. If two or more tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and child, the order that is controlling and must be recognized under the provisions of section 454.871 establishes the nonmodifiable aspects of the support order.

(d) On issuance of an order modifying a child support order issued in another state, a tribunal of this state becomes the tribunal of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Recognition of a foreign tribunal's modification of this state's order, when.

454.976. A tribunal of this state shall recognize a modification of its earlier child support order by a tribunal of another state which assumed jurisdiction pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997 and, upon request, except as otherwise provided in sections 454.850 to 454.997 shall:

(1) enforce the order that was modified only as to amounts accruing before the modification;

(2) enforce only nonmodifiable aspects of that order;

(3) provide other appropriate relief only for violations of that order which occurred before the effective date of the modification; and

(4) recognize the modifying order of the other state, upon registration, for the purpose of enforcement.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Jurisdiction for a child support proceeding.

454.978. (a) If all of the individual parties reside in this state and the child does not reside in the issuing state, a tribunal of this state has jurisdiction to enforce and to modify the issuing state's child support order in a proceeding to register that order.

(b) A tribunal of this state exercising jurisdiction as provided in this section shall apply the provisions of sections 454.850 to 454.877 and sections 454.948 to 454.981 to the enforcement or modification proceeding. Sections 454.880 to 454.946 and sections 454.983 to 454.989 do not apply and the tribunal shall apply the procedural and substantive law of this state.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Certified copy of a modification filed with issuing tribunal.

454.981. Within thirty days after issuance of a modified child support order, the party obtaining the modification shall file a certified copy of the order with the issuing tribunal which had continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the earlier order, and in each tribunal in which the party knows that earlier order has been registered. Failure of the party obtaining the order to file a certified copy as required subjects that party to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises, but that failure has no effect on the validity or enforceability of the modified order of the new tribunal of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Determination of parentage--which tribunal.

454.983. (a) A tribunal of this state may serve as an initiating or responding tribunal in a proceeding brought under sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law or procedure substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997, or a law or procedure substantially similar to the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, or the revised uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act to determine that the petitioner is a parent of a particular child or to determine that a respondent is a parent of that child.

(b) In a proceeding to determine parentage, a responding tribunal of this state shall apply the procedural and substantive law of this state and the rules of this state on choice of law.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Governor, defined, duties.

454.986. (a) For purposes of this article, "governor" includes an individual performing the functions of governor or the executive authority of a state covered by sections 454.850 to 454.997.

(b) The governor of this state may:

(1) demand that the governor of another state surrender an individual found in the other state who is charged criminally in this state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee; or

(2) on the demand by the governor of another state, surrender an individual found in this state who is charged criminally in the other state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee.

(c) A provision for extradition of individuals not inconsistent with sections 454.850 to 454.997, applies to the demand even if the individual whose surrender is demanded was not in the demanding state when the crime was allegedly committed and has not fled therefrom.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Surrender of a parent charged with failure to provide support, procedure.

454.989. (a) Before making demand that the governor of another state surrender an individual charged criminally in this state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee, the governor of this state may require a prosecutor of this state to demonstrate that at least sixty days previously the obligee had initiated proceedings for support pursuant to sections 454.850 to 454.997 or that the proceeding would be of no avail.

(b) If, under sections 454.850 to 454.997 or a law substantially similar to sections 454.850 to 454.997, the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, or the revised uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act, the governor of another state makes a demand that the governor of this state surrender an individual charged criminally in that state with having failed to provide for the support of a child or other individual to whom a duty of support is owed, the governor may require a prosecutor to investigate the demand and report whether a proceeding for support has been initiated or would be effective. If it appears that a proceeding would be effective but has not been initiated, the governor may delay honoring the demand for a reasonable time to permit the initiation of a proceeding.

(c) If a proceeding for support has been initiated and the individual whose rendition is demanded prevails, the governor may decline to honor the demand. If the petitioner prevails and the individual whose rendition is demanded is subject to a support order, the governor may decline to honor the demand if the individual is complying with the support order.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Construction and application of sections 454.850 to 454.997.

454.991. Sections 454.850 to 454.997 shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of sections 454.850 to 454.997 among states enacting it.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Citation of the uniform interstate family support act.

454.993. Sections 454.850 to 454.997 may be cited as the "Uniform Interstate Family Support Act".

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Severability.

454.995. If any provision of sections 454.850 to 454.997 or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of sections 454.850 to 454.997, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of 454.850 to 454.997 are severable.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Applicability of certain statutes.

454.999. The provisions of sections 210.822 and 210.834, RSMo, shall apply to a proceeding under sections 454.850 to 454.997, but no other provisions of sections 210.817 through 210.852, RSMo, shall apply.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910)



Definitions.

454.1000. As used in sections 454.1000 to 454.1025, the following terms mean:

(1) "Arrearage", the amount created by a failure to provide:

(a) Support to a child pursuant to an administrative or judicial support order; or

(b) Support to a spouse if the judgment or order requiring payment of spousal support also requires payment of child support and such spouse is the custodial parent;

(2) "Child", a person for whom child support is due pursuant to a support order;

(3) "Court", any circuit court of the state that enters a support order or a circuit court in which such order is registered or filed;

(4) "Director", the director of the division of child support enforcement;

(5) "Division", the division of child support enforcement of the department of social services;

(6) "IV-D case", a case in which support rights are assigned to the state pursuant to section 208.040, RSMo, or the division is providing support enforcement services pursuant to section 454.425;

(7) "License", a license, certificate, registration or authorization issued by a licensing authority granting a person a right or privilege to engage in a business, occupation, profession, recreation or other related privilege that is subject to suspension, revocation, forfeiture or termination by the licensing authority prior to its date of expiration, except for any license issued by the department of conservation. Licenses include licenses to operate motor vehicles pursuant to chapter 302, RSMo, but shall not include motor vehicle registrations pursuant to chapter 301, RSMo;

(8) "Licensing authority", any department, except for the department of conservation, division, board, agency or instrumentality of this state or any political subdivision thereof that issues a license. Any board or commission assigned to the division of professional registration is included in the definition of licensing authority;

(9) "Obligee":

(a) A person to whom payments are required to be made pursuant to a support order; or

(b) A public agency of this or any other state which has the right to receive current or accrued support payments or provides support enforcement services pursuant to this chapter;

(10) "Obligor", a person who owes a duty of support;

(11) "Order suspending a license", an order issued by a court or the director to suspend a license. The order shall contain the name of the obligor, date of birth of the obligor, the type of license and the Social Security number of the obligor;

(12) "Payment plan" includes, but is not limited to, a written plan approved by the court or division that incorporates an income withholding pursuant to sections 452.350, RSMo, and 454.505 or a similar plan for periodic payment of an arrearage, and current and future support, if applicable;

(13) "Support order", an order providing a determinable amount for temporary or final periodic payment of support. Such order may include payment of a determinable amount of insurance, medical or other expenses of the child issued by:

(a) A court of this state;

(b) A court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction of another state, an Indian tribe, or a foreign country; or

(c) The director of the division.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Suspension of a professional or occupational license, when, procedure.

454.1003. 1. A court or the director of the division of child support enforcement may issue an order, or in the case of a business, professional or occupational license, only a court may issue an order, suspending an obligor's license and ordering the obligor to refrain from engaging in a licensed activity in the following cases:

(1) When the obligor is not making child support payments in accordance with a court order and owes an arrearage in an amount greater than or equal to three months support payments or two thousand five hundred dollars, whichever is less, as of the date of service of a notice of intent to suspend such license; or

(2) When the obligor or any other person, after receiving appropriate notice, fails to comply with a subpoena of a court or the director concerning actions relating to the establishment of paternity, or to the establishment, modification or enforcement of support orders, or order of the director for genetic testing.

2. In any case but a IV-D case, upon the petition of an obligee alleging the existence of an arrearage, a court with jurisdiction over the support order may issue a notice of intent to suspend a license. In a IV-D case, the director, or a court at the request of the director, may issue a notice of intent to suspend.

3. The notice of intent to suspend a license shall be served on the obligor personally or by certified mail. If the proposed suspension of license is based on the obligor's support arrearage, the notice shall state that the obligor's license shall be suspended sixty days after service unless, within such time, the obligor:

(1) Pays the entire arrearage stated in the notice;

(2) Enters into and complies with a payment plan approved by the court or the division; or

(3) Requests a hearing before the court or the director.

4. In a IV-D case, the notice shall advise the obligor that hearings are subject to the contested case provisions of chapter 536, RSMo.

5. If the proposed suspension of license is based on the alleged failure to comply with a subpoena relating to paternity or a child support proceeding, or order of the director for genetic testing, the notice of intent to suspend shall inform the person that such person's license shall be suspended sixty days after service, unless the person complies with the subpoena or order.

6. If the obligor fails to comply with the terms of repayment agreement, a court or the division may issue a notice of intent to suspend the obligor's license.

7. In addition to the actions to suspend or withhold licenses pursuant to this chapter, a court or the director of the division of child support enforcement may restrict such licenses in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Hearing to show cause for suspension of a license, procedure.

454.1005. 1. To show cause why suspension of a license may not be appropriate, the obligor shall request a hearing from the court or division that issued the notice of intent to suspend the license. The request shall be made within sixty days of the date of service of notice.

2. If an obligor fails to respond, without good cause, to a notice of intent to suspend a license, timely request a hearing or comply with a payment plan, the obligor's defenses and objections shall be considered to be without merit and the court or director may enter an order suspending the obligor's license and ordering the obligor to refrain from engaging in the licensed activity.

3. Upon timely receipt of a request for hearing from an obligor, the court or director shall schedule a hearing to determine if suspension of the obligor's license is appropriate. The court or director shall stay suspension of the license pending the outcome of the hearing.

4. If the action involves an arrearage, the only issues that may be determined in a hearing pursuant to this section are:

(1) The identity of the obligor;

(2) Whether the arrearage is in an amount greater than or equal to three months of support payments or two thousand five hundred dollars, whichever is less, by the date of service of a notice of intent to suspend; and

(3) Whether the obligor has entered a payment plan.

If the action involves a failure to comply with a subpoena or order, the only issues that may be determined are the identity of the obligor and whether the obligor has complied with the subpoena or order.

5. If the court or director, after hearing, determines that the obligor has failed to comply with any of the requirements in subsection 4 of this section, the court or director shall issue an order suspending the obligor's license and ordering the obligor to refrain from engaging in the licensed activity.

6. The court or division shall send a copy of the order suspending a license to the licensing authority and the obligor by certified mail.

7. The determination of the director, after a hearing pursuant to this section, shall be a final agency decision and shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo. Administrative hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted by hearing officers appointed by the director of the department pursuant to subsection 1 of section 454.475.

8. A determination made by the court or division pursuant to this section is independent of any proceeding of the licensing authority to suspend, revoke, deny, terminate or renew a license.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Licensing authority's responsibilities upon receipt of a suspension order.

454.1008. 1. Upon receipt of an order suspending a license, a licensing authority shall:

(1) Determine if the licensing authority has issued a license to the obligor whose name appears on the order;

(2) Enter the suspension as effective from the date of the order issued by the court or division;

(3) Issue the notice of the suspension to the licensee; and

(4) If required by law, demand surrender of the suspended license.

2. An order issued by a court or the director suspending a license shall be processed by the licensing authority without any additional review or hearing by such licensing authority.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law regarding the suspension, revocation, denial, termination or renewal of a license to the contrary, an order issued by a court or the director suspending a license shall be implemented by the licensing authority and continue until the court or division advises the licensing authority that such suspension has been stayed or terminated. The obligor may not appeal the suspension of a license pursuant to sections 454.1000 to 454.1025 pursuant to any other law, including, but not limited to, section 302.311, RSMo. The exclusive procedure for appeal is provided in sections 454.1000 to 454.1025.

4. If a license is suspended, any funds paid by the obligor to the licensing authority for costs related to issuance, renewal or maintenance of a license shall not be refunded to the obligor.

5. Unless acting pursuant to an order of a court or the director which stays the suspension of a license, an obligor who continues to engage in the business, occupation, profession or other licensed activity while the license is suspended pursuant to this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, unless a penalty is otherwise provided. The division or the licensing authority may refer the obligor to the appropriate prosecuting or circuit attorney or the attorney general for prosecution pursuant to this section in addition to any other remedy provided by law for engaging in a licensed activity without a license or while a license is suspended.

6. The licensing authority shall be exempt from liability to the licensee for activities conducted pursuant to this section.

7. The licensing authority shall not modify, remand, reverse, vacate or stay an order of the court or director suspending a license.

8. If the license suspended is a driver's license, the obligor shall have no rights pursuant to section 302.311, RSMo.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Petition to stay a suspension, grounds, procedure--reinstatement fee required, when.

454.1010. 1. An obligor may, at any time, petition a court or the director for an order to stay the suspension of a license. Any petition seeking to stay an order of the director shall be served on the director.

2. The court or director may consider the obligor's petition for a stay separately from any determination on the suspension of a license.

3. The court, but not the director, may stay suspension of a license upon a showing that a suspension or continued suspension of a license would create a significant hardship to the obligor, the obligor's employees, any legal dependents residing in the obligor's household, or persons, businesses or other entities served by the obligor.

4. The court or director may stay suspension of a license upon entry of a payment plan or receipt of adequate assurance that the obligor shall comply with an existing payment plan.

5. A stay shall terminate if:

(1) A court determines that the significant hardship circumstance pursuant to subsection 3 of this section has ended;

(2) The court or division determines that the obligor has failed to abide by the terms and conditions of a payment plan; or

(3) The order staying suspension of a license has a termination date and such date has been reached.

6. If the licensing authority is notified of an order suspending a license, the court or division shall send a copy of any order staying or reimposing suspension of the license to the licensing authority and the obligor by certified mail.

7. Upon receipt of an order staying or reimposing suspension of the license, the licensing authority shall:

(1) Enter the information on appropriate records;

(2) Issue notice of the action to the licensee; and

(3) If required by law, demand surrender of the suspended license or return the reinstated license.

8. No additional action by the licensing authority shall be required to implement a stay or reinstatement of suspension of a license.

9. This section shall be the exclusive remedy for the obligor to obtain an order staying suspension of a license pursuant to sections 454.1000 to 454.1025. Any other provisions providing for the issuance of hardship licenses, including, but not limited to, those provided in section 302.309, RSMo, do not apply to suspensions pursuant to sections 454.1000 to 454.1025.

10. No person shall be required to file proof of financial responsibility with the department of revenue as a condition of reinstatement of a driver's license suspended solely pursuant to the provisions of sections 454.1000 to 454.1025.

11. Any person whose license to operate a motor vehicle in this state has been suspended pursuant to this section shall, before having the license reinstated, pay to the director of revenue a reinstatement fee of twenty dollars.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Termination of an order of suspension, when--new termination order may be issued, when.

454.1013. 1. If a court or the division determines that an arrearage has been paid in full, or the obligor has complied with the subpoena or order of the director, the court or division shall terminate the order suspending the license and immediately send a copy of the order terminating the suspension of the license to the licensing authority and the obligor by certified mail.

2. Entry of an order terminating suspension of a license shall not prevent a court or the director from issuing a new order suspending the license of the same obligor in the event of another arrearage.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Fee charged by licensing authority for administrative costs permitted.

454.1015. A licensing authority may charge the obligor a reasonable fee for the administrative costs incurred by such licensing authority in taking action against the obligor's license pursuant to sections 454.1000 to 454.1025.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Rules--promulgated by the division.

454.1018. The division shall promulgate rules necessary for the implementation and administration of sections 454.1000 to 454.1025. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to the authority of this section shall become effective unless it is promulgated pursuant to section 536.024, RSMo.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Standards for licensure information provided to the division, method, contents.

454.1020. 1. Upon request by the division, all state licensing authorities subject to sections 454.1000 to 454.1025 shall provide specified information, on magnetic tape or other machine-readable form, to the division pursuant to the standards established by the division regarding applicants for licensure and all current licenses. Such information shall include the following, if available:

(1) Name;

(2) Address of record;

(3) Date of birth;

(4) Federal employer identification number or Social Security number;

(5) Type of license;

(6) Effective date of the license or renewal;

(7) Expiration date of the license; and

(8) Active or inactive status.

2. All licensing authorities not providing the information required by subsection 1 of this section shall, upon request by the division, provide such information in any readable format for any licensee of the licensing authority.

3. The provisions of this section shall, at no time, preclude the division from requesting the information provided by a licensing authority pursuant to section 454.440, RSMo.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



List of licensed attorneys to be provided to division, when--arrearages reported to supreme court clerk.

454.1023. The division of child support enforcement is hereby authorized, pursuant to a cooperative agreement with the supreme court, to develop procedures which shall permit the clerk of the supreme court to furnish the division, at least once each year, with a list of persons currently licensed to practice law in this state. If any such person has an arrearage in an amount equal to or greater than three months of support payments or two thousand five hundred dollars, the division shall notify the clerk of the supreme court that such person has an arrearage.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Request for rules for suspension or sanctioning of law license, when.

454.1025. By July 1, 1998, the supreme court is requested to have in effect a rule in accordance with 42 U.S.C. section 666(a)(16) which shall permit the suspension or other sanctioning of a law license for any person who owes an arrearage in an amount equal to or greater than three months of support payments or two thousand five hundred dollars, whichever first occurs.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



Hunting and fishing license sanctions--department of conservation.

454.1027. Notwithstanding any provision of sections 454.1000 to 454.1027 to the contrary, the following procedures shall apply between the division of child support enforcement and the department of conservation regarding the suspension of hunting and fishing licenses:

(1) The division of child support enforcement shall be responsible for making the determination whether an individual's license should be suspended based on the reasons specified in section 454.1003, after ensuring that each individual is provided due process, including appropriate notice and opportunity for administrative hearing;

(2) If the division of child support enforcement determines, after completion of all due process procedures available to an individual, that an individual's license should be suspended, the division shall notify the department of conservation. The department or commission shall develop a rule consistent with a cooperative agreement between the division of child support enforcement, the department of conservation and the conservation commission, and in accordance with 42 U.S.C. Section 666(a)(16) which shall require the suspension of a license for any person based on the reasons specified in section 454.1003. Such suspension shall remain in effect until the department is notified by the division that such suspension should be stayed or terminated because the individual is now in compliance with applicable child support laws.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361)

Effective 7-1-97



No suspension of licenses while obligor honors the support agreement.

454.1029. For obligors that have been making regular child support payments in accordance with an agreement entered into with the division of child support enforcement, the license shall not be suspended while the obligor honors such agreement.

(L. 1997 S.B. 361 3)

Effective 7-1-97



Penalties for denial or interference with visitation or custody.

454.1031. All penalties that apply to an obligor in sections 454.1000 to 454.1029 shall also apply to any person who has, without good cause as determined by a court with jurisdiction, denied or interfered with any order for visitation or custody for two or more consecutive periods. Any such penalties shall be imposed by a court with jurisdiction, and may be modified or vacated by the court for good cause shown, and the division shall have no jurisdiction over such matters.

(L. 1998 S.B. 910)

Missouri Divorce Laws




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