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

5 months 3 weeks 2 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
HOLTS SUMMIT - Joshua Lee is a retired sergeant from the Missouri National Guard where he served from 2007 to... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri moved to a new location to help feed more people... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:34:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri House committee investigating Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has hired former state Supreme... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:32:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - MU researchers say there will be 600 million people with some level of diabetic blindness by the year... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:27:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Downtown Leadership Council wants more parking spaces for customers and visitors downtown. The Downtown Leadership Council... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:58:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
SWEET SPRINGS - As temperatures rise in Central Missouri, so do fishermen's aspirations of landing their trophy catch. Missouri's lakes... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "Organic" and "non-GMO"—these food labels adorn all kinds of products, from breakfast cereal to snack food. And according... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
BELLERIVE (AP) — The University of Missouri-St. Louis is considering eliminating some degree programs amid financial trouble. A committee... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:17:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Missouri State University and its food supplier are investigating to determine how a small mouse was found... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A study out this week finds high stress levels among elementary teachers affect student behavior and performance. ... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 immigrants gathered to become American citizens at the naturalization ceremony Wednesday afternoon. "It's... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Legal experts say Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was not entitled to use a donor list... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:11:56 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The head of an MU Latino student group said Wednesday a court ruling to protect the Deferred Action... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Hundreds celebrated the life of Miller County sheriff's deputy Casey Shoemate Wednesday morning. Shoemate died Friday... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. CHARLES (AP) — In a brief and subdued speech to hundreds of St. Louis area police officers, Missouri Gov.... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:41:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Union teachers are urging lawmakers to vote against a bill that would change how unions use dues... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — One out of every three Missouri families is now affected by the opioid crisis. This fact drove the... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:50:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The five-year battle between Jefferson City YMCA and the city of Holts Summit intensified this week when... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
1am 51°
2am 50°
3am 49°
4am 48°