Missouri's Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is an administrative agency that has the authority to issue child support orders against individuals it has confirmed to be the parent. A case worker will calculate the child support obligation based on information he or she receives from the custodial parent and other sources, then serves the non-custodial parent with notice of the order.
In the majority of cases, these orders are issued without any involvement from the non-custodial parent. The first he or she usually hears of the order is when the notice arrives in the mail. If you have received a child support order from the DCSE, you have the right to dispute the amount, but you only have 10 to 15 days to request a hearing. If you don't, the order will become final.
Hearings are not conducted in court. They are conducted over the phone where evidence is presented to the hearing officer. The hearing officer then determines if the initial order is correct or should be changed. It is your right to have a lawyer on the phone with you during the administrative hearing who can work to ensure that the correct evidence is presented and that the right calculations are used.
If You Don't Get a Satisfactory Result at the Administrative Hearing
If you are not satisfied with the result of the administrative hearing, you have 30 days to file a petition for review in Missouri Circuit Court. Here, a judge will review the DCSE's order, and you will have the opportunity for the judge to hear your story and make a determination based on all the facts of your case.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have represented clients in administrative hearings and judicial reviews. We have the strategies to give you the best chance of reaching a favorable result, and we have a solid track record of success behind us. We can help you file the petition for review and provide the strong representation you need to ensure that your interests are protected. We can also file an appeal, if necessary, to the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Contact a St. Louis, Kansas City or Columbia Child Support Attorney
Contact us online or by phone to schedule a confidential half-hour consultation at any of our convenient locations, including offices in: St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and beyond.