If you are still waiting on a stimulus payment that you have not yet received, it may be because you owe child support in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division, has already intercepted over $78.8 million in stimulus check payments due to unpaid child support. Under Missouri’s guidelines, the stimulus payment can be withheld where a non-custodial parent is $500 or more past due on child support payments.
For parents who filed jointly or who have a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Plan, this can block the entire stimulus payment, including the portion intended for the custodial parent (up to $1,200) and the $500 payment for each child that they would otherwise have received.
This is resulting in a great deal of confusion and frustration for many struggling parents who say that while this requirement may have been well-intentioned, it has merely ended up adding insult to injury. To them, it punishes parents who were doing their best and really needed the help.
Have You Been Unfairly Deprived of Your Stimulus Payment?
Since this policy has gone into effect, the IRS and the Missouri Department of Social Services have been flooded with complaints of unfair withholding of stimulus payments. Some people claim that they are up to date or under $500 behind in child support but still receive notice that their stimulus payments would be paused or withheld.
If this has happened to you, you must act fast. You have thirty (30) days to request an administrative hearing to assess the validity of the halted payment. The payment will remain paused until a decision has been made in the case.
If your payment and the payments for your children have been withheld due to overdue payments by a non-custodial parent, there’s hope. As the parent who has custody of the children and who does not owe child support payments, you should file an Injured Spouse Form with the IRS.
Can’t Afford Your Child Support Payments in Missouri?
The pandemic is a difficult time for many, and it has affected the employment status and income of hundreds of thousands of Americans. If your circumstances have changed and you can no longer afford your court-ordered child support payments, a Missouri family law attorney can help you petition the court to modify your payment amount. This will ensure that you are actually able to consistently make your monthly payments and that they will not be a barrier to you and your family receiving future stimulus payments and other benefits.
Many people think that child support payments are set in stone. While it is true that you cannot change them on your own, the agreements can be modified through the court. It is much more preferable that an agreement be modified to make it work than remain the same and ineffective.
Compassionate Missouri Child Support Attorneys
If you need assistance with a Missouri child support matter, the experienced family law attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm are ready to help. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.