Independence, MO asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Missouri

Q: will they garnish a maintenance payment for back owed child support?

IF a woman who refused to work to not pay chidsupport gets a Maintenance support Check, will that be garnished for previous back owed childsupport.

1 Lawyer Answer
Chad Garrett Mann
Chad Garrett Mann
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Under Missouri law, if a person fails to pay court-ordered child support, the state can enforce this obligation in several ways. One common method is income withholding, which can include wages, salaries, and other income like unemployment benefits, workman's compensation, and retirement benefits. This method could be used to garnish maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) checks if they are considered a form of income.

When a court order is established for child support, an income withholding order is generally sent to the payer's employer, but it can apply to any source of income. The Child Support program uses a variety of tools to enforce child support orders, including garnishing income, intercepting tax refunds, suspending licenses, and even issuing warrants for arrest in cases of non-payment.

However, it's important to consult with a lawyer for specific advice as relates to the specific and finite facts of your situation, as the answer may vary widely depending on the circumstances. It is also important to remember that laws can change, and the enforcement measures that apply in your case will depend on the specifics of your situation, including the terms of your child support and maintenance orders and your income sources.

Keep in mind that child support and maintenance are legally separate obligations with different purposes. Child support is intended to help cover the costs of raising a child, while maintenance is meant to provide financial support to a lower-earning or non-earning spouse after a divorce.

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