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

1 year 1 month 1 week 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
(CNN) -- Treacherous driving conditions and canceled flights could keep residents stuck at home for days as a nasty mix... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A dog groomer in Osage Beach has made it a mission to train service dogs after she... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 2:08:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri faculty members are raising concerns that the system's move to offer buyouts to... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:47:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call inside the Steak ‘n Shake on... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 10:38:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
JAMESTOWN - Grace United Methodist Church held its seasonal music recital on Sunday featuring a 117-year-old historic church organ. ... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:58:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton police officers responded to the Fulton Medical Center regarding a possible assault early Sunday morning. According... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:00:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Kansas City woman was arrested Saturday and charged with multiple felony counts of possession of a... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - All weekend the Central Missouri Humane Society is encouraging people to come adopt animals. The humane society has... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:35:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Down Syndrome Guild of Central Missouri had its first learning seminar in Columbia on Saturday. The seminar... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia teen who was killed in a crash Saturday morning was a senior at Christian Fellowship School,... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:55:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Karis Church in northwest Columbia held its third annual Affordable Christmas event early Saturday morning. This is... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 6:40:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House chief of staff John Kelly will be leaving his position at the end of the year,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:56:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Camden County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a car crash Friday on Route MM near Villages... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Only one person was injured after two overnight fires kept fire crews busy into the weekend. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Runners and walkers dressed up in holiday wear for the annual Jingle Bell Run in Columbia on Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A formerly homeless veteran is helping other vets expand their horizons by cycling. Tyler Kempker leads a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 8:53:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Despite smoke-free laws and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, a large number of Americans are being exposed to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
URANUS, Mo. (AP) — The Uranus Examiner, a small Missouri newspaper whose name inspired chuckles and groans when it... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:33:20 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 22°
9pm 25°
10pm 24°
11pm 23°
12am 22°