TARGET 8: Father charged nearly $200 to collect child support he's owed

10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, November 01 2017 Nov 1, 2017 Wednesday, November 01, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT November 01, 2017 in Target 8
By: Kyrah Davis, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

STURGEON - Imagine raising a child with no help but a few sporadic child support payments, only to be charged just to get the money you're owed. That’s what happened to Sturgeon resident Elba Roark, and he said it’s a slap in the face. 

“I could understand if it was a small fee, $25, $50. I could understand that,” he said, “but $160 is a little excessive.” 

Roark is a father of seven. In 2009, he went to court for custody of his son, after which the non-custodial parent was ordered to pay a monthly child support payment of $232 per month. According to Roark's records, the mother's payments have been anything but consistent. And sometimes, like when she went to prison, the payments were simply nonexistent. 

She was released from prison in August 2016 and moved to Arkansas almost immediately after. Roark didn’t receive another payment until March 1, 2017, and it was only $50. 

According to Missouri law, non-custodial parents are still expected to pay child support even while imprisoned. Family Support Division Deputy Director of Child Support John Ginwright said the agency will pursue payments, even during incarceration. 

“If the person obligated to pay support goes to prison, the support order still continues," he said. “We will continue to pursue avenues to collect the support if there are any assets known. If there are still bank accounts or anything that we can collect it off of, we will continue to collect the support.”

But Roark never received anything while his son's mother was imprisoned. In total, court records show she owes $20,871.32 on one order and $711.78 on another. According to Missouri law, if a parent fails to pay for 6 months within a 12-month period or goes $5000 in debt to the custodial parent, it’s considered a criminal offense. According to Roark's documentation, she has violated both measures. 

In August of this year, the state of Arkansas sent Roark a billing statement for $160 to enforce his court order. When Roark inquired about the hefty bill, he said the Missouri department told him it had sent a notification in November 2016 warning him that Arkansas might charge a fee.

Roark said he did not hear anything until after he contacted Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. Shortly after, on September 12, he received what looked to be a copy of the previous notification with the November date marked. 

“I’ve never received anything up until, of course, they sent me this copy.” 

If he did receive something earlier, Roark said he would have said something. Ginwright said there are only two fees Missouri assesses, and they’re minimal. 

“One is a $10 fee if you don’t have your child support case open with the state agency,” he said. “The other fee is a $25 fee that is federally mandated, and that is assessed against the non-custodial parent." 

He said that only goes into effect if there’s more than $500 collected that fiscal year and the parties involved in the case have not filed for public assistance. 

“There are no fees assessed to the custodial parent if the case is opened with the state of Missouri,” Ginwright said.  

Ginwright said enforcing child support is generally the same as if they were living in Missouri. But as far as waiving fees from outside states, Missouri doesn't have that authority. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A water main break in MU's Hearnes Center early Saturday morning caused at least $100,000 worth of damage,... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department responded to shots fired at a McDonald's located at 303 S. Business 54 early... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a past sexual assault,... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested five people Friday morning during a narcotics search at a residence in... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 4:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FESTUS (AP) — A man and his adult son were killed when their small plane crashed near... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU partnered with two local groups to host a Chinese Moon Festival Saturday night at Twin Lake Recreational... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:02:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — President Trump held a campaign-style rally in Springfield Friday. Trump spoke in front of an at-capacity crowd... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:15:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 46-year-old woman who set a fire that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Emissions near a troubled St. Louis County landfill once posed health concerns for workers and nearby... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:02:52 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Missouri Southern State University has abandoned plans for a dental school that would've operated in partnership with... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:51:59 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some St. Louis police officers are still struggling with injuries more than a year after protesters... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:44:27 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police said a fifth arrest has been made in connection with an alleged homicide on Sylvan Lane... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police arrested a man early Friday after reportedly finding him outside an apartment complex, looking into a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:27:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Friday to allow the Clean Missouri Initiative to stay... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – MU is one of only two Southeastern Conference universities to experience double-digit growth in new freshmen, while several... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 1:12:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - President Donald Trump is set to campaign at the JQH Arena for U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 12:43:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced a resolution Friday supporting the University of Missouri-Columbia's efforts to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 11:23:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - 82,000 Americans are still missing as the result of our country's biggest wars. POW/MIA Recognition Day is... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:59:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
12am 59°
1am 58°
2am 56°
3am 55°