We help people all of the time when the other party is not following the final divorce judgment. In some very limited circumstances, we advise folks that they can try to do it themselves and if that fails, they can hire us.
Child support: If child support is not being paid, the first thing we do is to look at the original judgment. A wage assignment (where the child support is taken from the obligor’s (the obligor is the one who owes child support) paycheck and sent directly to the oblige (the person receiving child support)) is ordered unless the obligee waives that right. If the obligor is employed by someone else and gets a paycheck and the wage assignment was ordered but never done, that is the first step.
Although a wage assignment is “just a form” we recommend to our clients that we complete that form for them. However, the form is available on the website for the Missouri Supreme Court: www.courts.mo.gov.
If the obligor is a W-2 employee and the wage assignment was waived in the divorce, the wage assignment cannot be filed until the obligor is 30 days late.
If the obligor is self-employed, no wage assignment is available, and collection will be after the fact Once the child support is owed. there are a number of options that may be available to the oblige: garnishment of a bank or other financial account, a QDRO against a retirement account, forcing the sale of a motor vehicle, real estate or other property (note that the cost of forcing a sale often makes this idea not a realistic option).
Even if the State of Missouri was not involved in establishing the child support, the Family Support Division “FSD” will help an obligee to enforce it. FSD is a free service and if often backlogged for months. However, there are certain measures that only FSD can take. FSD can capture a tax refund or special payments like the COVID19 stimulus payments and cause suspension of driver’s licenses and other licenses (such as hunting and fishing and even professional licenses). FSD is also the only one able to refer a case for criminal prosecution for non-support.