Missouri Employers May Receive Income Withholding Orders From Other States

Employers need to be aware of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This Missouri law became effective January 1, 1997, and was amended effective July 1, 1997. It can be found in sections 454.850 to 454.997, RSMo.

Certain sections of this law require Missouri employers to honor income withholding orders issued from other states. Here is what the law says:

454.932 An income-withholding order issued in another state may be sent to the person or entity defined as the obligor’s employer ... without first filing a petition or comparable pleading or registering the order with a tribunal of this state (i.e., a Missouri court or Missouri Child Support Enforcement).

454.934

  1. Upon receipt of the order, the obligor’s employer shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the obligor.
  2. The employer shall treat an income withholding order issued in another state which appears regular on its face as if it had been issued by a tribunal of this state (i.e., a Missouri court or Missouri Child Support Enforcement).
  3. Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section and section 454.936, the employer shall withhold and distribute the funds as directed in the withholding order by complying with the terms of the order, as applicable, that specify: (1) the duration and the amount of periodic payments of current child support, stated as a sum certain; (2) the person or agency designated to receive payments and the address to which the payments are to be forwarded; (3) medical support, whether in the form of periodic cash payment, stated as a sum certain, or ordering the obligor to provide health insurance coverage for the child under a policy available through the obligor’s employment; (4) the amount of periodic payments of fees and costs for a support enforcement agency, the issuing tribunal, and the obligee’s attorney, stated as sums certain; and (5) the amount of periodic payments of arrears and interest on arrears, stated as sums certain.
  4. The employer shall comply with the law of the state of the obligor’s principal place of employment for withholding from income with respect to: (1) the employer’s fee for processing an income withholding order; (2) the maximum amount permitted to be withheld from the obligor’s income; (3) the time periods within which the employer must implement the withholding order and forward the child support payment.

454.936 If the obligor’s employer receives multiple orders to withhold support from the earnings of the same obligor, the employer shall be deemed to have satisfied the terms of the multiple orders if the employer complied with the law of the state of the obligor’s principal place of employment to establish the priorities for withholding and allocating income withheld for multiple child support orders.

454.938 An employer who complies with an income withholding order issued in another state in accordance with sections 454.932 to 454.946, is not subject to civil liability to any individual or agency with regard to the employer’s withholding child support from the obligor’s income.

454.941 An employer who willfully fails to comply with an income withholding order issued by another state and received for enforcement is subject to the same penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance with an order issued by a tribunal of this state (i.e., a Missouri court or Missouri Child Support Enforcement).

(Parenthetical remarks added.)

Beginning March 1, 1997, federal law requires all child support agencies to use a standard form when issuing income withholding orders to employers in other states.

If you have questions regarding UIFSA’s direct income withholding provision, call Missouri’s child support employer help line at 1-800-585-9234 or 573-526-8699, or contact the child support office indicated on the income withholding order.