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How to request a hearing for child support
Child Support Hearings | Division of Legal Services
If you do not agree with the Family Support Division's action on your child support case, you can appeal their decision and request a hearing. The hearing will give you the opportunity to present evidence, such as witness testimony and documents, to show why the decision made for your case was wrong.
Note: The following information is provided to help you understand the hearing process. It is not intended to provide legal advice about an appeal. If you need legal advice about how to proceed with your appeal, please contact an attorney.
Attendance at the Hearing
If you do not attend your hearing, the Hearings Unit may decide to dismiss your case or make a ruling based on the Family Support Division's finding. If you are not the one that requested the hearing, it is still important for you to attend. If you do not attend the hearing and the person that requested the hearing does, the hearing may proceed without you. If you are not able to attend the hearing, you will receive a copy of the Hearings Unit's decision by mail. This decision may result in a higher or lower amount of child support, and it could also include a finding on past due child support owed.
Preparation for the Hearing
You should begin preparing for the hearing immediately after you file your appeal. This may include arranging for necessary witnesses and gathering documents or other materials that you believe support your case. The Hearings Unit will not postpone a hearing because you are not prepared, except in extraordinary circumstances.
The Family Support Division will mail you a copy of the Agency Hearing Packet. This packet includes all of the documents the Family Support Division will use at the hearing. It is important to make sure the Family Support Division has your current address so you can receive this packet.
You should be prepared to present firsthand evidence to prove the facts, which are believed to be true. Only people who have personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the issue should testify. No one should rely on what previously has been presented to the Family Support Division or any other state or federal agency to prove the case before the Hearings Unit.
A witness should be someone who saw or heard something that is important in proving a fact. It is not necessary to have many witnesses repeat the same testimony. It is your responsibility to make sure all witnesses are available and will attend the hearing on time.
If there are any documents you would like to be considered for your hearing, you have the option to send them to the Child Support Hearings Unit. It is your responsibility to make sure that all parties involved in the hearing receive copies of the documents before the scheduled hearing.
It is important to note that the documents you send will not be returned to you, so please do not send original documents. Documents can be sent to the Child Support Hearings Unit by mail or fax. If you are sending more than 20 pages of documents, we ask that you please send them by mail. Documents can be sent to:
Child Support Hearings Unit PO Box 1527 Jefferson City, MO 65102 Fax: 573-522-1366
You have a right to have an attorney (lawyer) who is licensed to practice law in Missouri represent you at the hearing. If you do not have a lawyer you can contact the Missouri Bar. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact the legal aid office that serves your area to see if you qualify for a free lawyer.
If you expect to be represented by an attorney at the hearing, you must make arrangements with that attorney to enter an appearance with the Hearings Unit.
If your family is not receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, you may be given the opportunity to have a conference before the hearing to discuss your child support amount. If everyone agrees on a child support amount that is different than what was proposed by the Family Support Division, then a contested hearing may not be necessary.
A short hearing will be held about the terms of the parties' agreement. Both parties need to be present in order to come to an agreement. The Hearing Officer can provide more information at the time of the hearing if this is an option in your case.
A subpoena is an order issued by the Hearings Unit to require someone to provide documents or to appear to testify at your hearing. If you would like to ask for a subpoena, you should contact the Hearings Unit at 573-526-3518 after you receive your hearing notice. The Hearings Unit will review and rule on your request. If your request is granted, it is your responsibility to serve the subpoena.
Every effort should be made to participate in the hearing when it is scheduled. If you need a postponement, you must submit a written request explaining reason for continuance and provide the dates you would be available for a hearing if it is rescheduled. This written request must be sent to all parties involved and to the Hearings Unit at:
Child Support Hearings Unit PO Box 1527 Jefferson City, MO 65102 Fax: 573-522-1366
Your hearing will take place on the date provided in your notice unless the Hearings Unit approves your request to postpone the hearing. If you request postponement, please do not assume your request has been approved. Unless you receive a notice that your hearing has been postponed, your hearing will take place on the original date.
Telephone Conference Hearings
Hearings are held by telephone conference between you and/or your attorney, the Hearing Officer, the Family Support Division witness, and any other parties involved. The Hearing Officer will contact everyone who needs to be involved in the hearing by phone at the hearing's scheduled time. If someone is not available to answer the call, they will be given a time-frame they can return the call and participate in the hearing. If they do not return the call on time, they will not be able to attend the hearing.
Hearings typically last between 40 and 50 minutes, depending on the issues involved. Those participating in the hearing must be available during the entire hearing. Testimony cannot be taken from a witness who is not available when the Hearing Officer calls.
If you would like to attend your hearing with the Hearing Officer present, you may request to attend your hearing at our office in Jefferson City rather than by phone. To request an in-person hearing, please contact the Child Support Hearings Unit at 573-526-3518 after you receive your hearing notice.
If you choose to attend the hearing in person, please note that others involved in the hearing do not have to appear in person and may participate by phone.
For more information or if you have additional questions, please contact us at:
Child Support Hearings Unit PO Box 1527 Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: 573-526-3518 Fax: 573-522-1366 Email: [email protected]
Florida Dept. of Revenue - Child Support Hearing Information
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The court or administrative law judge decides if a child support hearing will be in-person, by phone, or by using an audio/video platform.
If you are scheduled for a court hearing, please read the hearing notice you received in the mail and follow the instructions in the notice. If you have questions, contact the attorney, court or administrative law judge that sent you the hearing notice, or use the contact information provided in the notice.
If you are scheduled for a hearing with the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), please read the hearing notice you received in the mail and follow the instructions in the notice. If you have questions, contact DOAH at 850-488-9675.
The court now requires you to provide an email address to be used for electronic service of notices and documents related to judicial actions. You can ask not to ( opt-out) by filing an affidavit (Supreme Court Form 2.601) indicating that you do not have an email account or do not have regular access to the internet.
Important notice for parents due support
You must appear at hearings scheduled for your case. If you do not, the following may occur:
Your public assistance benefits may be stopped
The court may dismiss your case or pending action
Your child support case with the Florida Child Support Program may be closed
Some hearings are being held in-person. The court or administrative law judge decides if a child support hearing will be in-person, by phone, or by using an audio/video platform. For specific information about your hearing, please read the hearing notice you received in the mail or your email and follow the instructions in the notice. If you are unable to appear in person, contact the attorney or court that sent you the hearing notice.
Audio/video or Telephonic Hearings
Many child support hearings are now being held by phone or using an audio/video platform. The court or administrative law judge decides if a child support hearing will be in-person, by phone, or by using an audio/video platform. For specific information about your hearing, please read the hearing notice you received in the mail or your email and follow the instructions in the notice. If you have questions, contact the attorney, court or administrative law judge that sent you the hearing notice. For more information, contact the local court or DOAH.
Audio/video hearings using Zoom
Many circuit courts and administrative law judges are holding audio/video hearings using Zoom. If the hearing notice you received says the hearing will be held using Zoom, the following information may be of assistance:
What is Zoom? Zoom is an audio/video platform that is being used by some circuit courts and administrative law judges instead of in-person hearings.
How do I use Zoom?
Before a scheduled hearing, the attorney, the court, or the administrative law judge will send parents a notice of hearing that includes a Zoom meeting ID number.
To access a Zoom hearing with audio and video:
Download the Zoom app to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet or download Zoom client for your laptop or computer (Windows or Mac). Be sure your device has a microphone and webcam, if possible.
Open the Zoom app, or on the website click "Join a Meeting" and then enter your Meeting ID provided in your hearing notice that was mailed to you.
What if I do not have a smartphone, tablet, or computer capable of audio or video?
If you are unable to attend your hearing by video, you may be able to join by audio only through Zoom or by phone. If joining by phone, read the hearing notice you received for the number to call.
How do I file for child support in a 209A protection order case?
The decision to get child support as part of a 209A protection order is an important decision that can help you keep you and your children safe. But only you can decide whether it is safe for you to file a child support petition as part of a 209A protection order.
If you wish to include child support in a 209A protection order, you should:
Decide in which court you will file your child support petition with a 209A order.
Decide whether you will receive support through the Division of Collections Support Collection Assistance (DOR/CSE).
On the Violence Protection Complaint Form, check box 7 on page 1 and complete any additional forms required.
Be aware that the judge will most likely not hear the child support order at the first hearing. The first hearing is the hearing the court sees when you come for an emergency order and the defendant has not yet been notified of the case. In this case, you will need to return to the court to participate in a second hearing, the so-called "ten-day" or "long" hearing.
At your second hearing, be prepared to explain your reasons for filing child support.
You need to be prepared to know how to answer the judge if the judge asks you to go to another court.
How can a 209A order help keep you safe?
Getting child support as part of a 209A protection order can help keep you and your children safe because:
It will help you manage and care for your children yourself;
This will help you pay for the costs of things for children in case of violence or abuse;
This will help you get support faster than if you filed a separate support case;
You will not have to deal with the abuser in court as if you were filing a separate child support case;
The abuser will not be able to contact you to discuss child support;
The Division of Collections Support Assistance (DOR/CSE) can collect child support from the abuser in your favor:
The abuser can pay directly to the department, or
Child support may be collected directly from the abuser's salary and transferred to the department in your favor; and
The abuser will not need to know where you are.
Which court should I apply to?
Any court that hears 209A cases may issue a child support order in conjunction with a 209A protection order. District Courts, Boston City Courts, or the Registry and Family Courts may administer 209 cases.A. If you have time to decide which court to apply to, consider:
Which court is the safest for you;
Which court is easiest to get to;
The fact that the Civil Status and Family Courts more often than require the completion of more complex questionnaires; and
What you need to be prepared to know how to answer the judge if a District Court or Boston City Court judge asks you to go to the Civil Status and Family Courts.
What forms do you need?
When you file a request for child support as part of a 209A protection order, you fill out all of the same forms you need to fill out when you apply for a 209A order, plus a few more. Forms to fill out:
Page 1 Complaints for Protection from Violence (Code 209A),
Page 2 Complaints for Protection from Violence (Code 209A) - Children's Cases,
Complainant Privacy Form,
Defendant Data Form
Plaintiff's Statement in Support of Support Request,
Support Compliance Calculation Form,
If you are filing with the Civil Status and Family Courts, you may also need to complete:
Petition and application for exemption.
What are these questionnaires for?
Page 1 Complaints about protection from violence (C.Z. s. 209A) Section J of the form begins with the words: "Why do I ask the court ..." . Check all boxes that apply to why you are asking the court. If you are filing for child support, check box 7. Item 7 tells the judge that you are also filing page 2 of the complaint form. Page 2 is about children.
Page 2 Complaints for Protection from Violence (C.3. 209A) begins with "Child Matters". To apply for maintenance, check the box in section F. TEMPORARY SUPPORT . Section F is at the top of the page. See sample page 2 for an F which means this is a request for temporary support.
Plaintiff's statement in support of a support request. You are the plaintiff. Your abuser is the defendant.
This form tells the judge all the information it needs to know about your income, the defendant's income, and expenses. Support Application - New 2012 Form When you sign this form, you must swear that you are giving the correct testimony to the court.
Complainant privacy form. By completing this form, you are letting the court know whether your details, such as your address and phone number, will be kept confidential and not shared with the defendant.
Respondent data form. This form is needed in order to notify the police on how to find the defendant.
Form for Compliance with Support Rules Judges are required to follow certain rules when calculating child support. These rules are called the "Alimony Rules". In the calculation form, the parent who will have to pay child support is called the "payor". If your child lives with you and you are the parent who receives support, you are a "recipient".
At the end of the form, you will find a heading, "Child Support Guidlines Chart". This table establishes the amount of "joint support" that must be entered in line 2(a) of the calculation form. The online form calculates this amount automatically.
Financial report. To be completed only if you are filing with the Civil Status and Family Court.
If you are filing for a 209A protection order, you may you will need to complete the Financial Report. See How to Complete a Financial Statement. The Respondent will also be required to complete a Financial Statement.
To prevent the respondent from learning personal information about you that could endanger you:
Do not include your address; telephone number; the name of the employer; work address, and work phone number on the Financial Statement.
You may also need to keep other personal information confidential. In such a case, complete and file the Petition and Withdrawal Application, and the judge will therefore withhold your confidential information from the defendant.
Review basic information about 209A protection orders.
Some forms already provided as images:
Sample Complaint for Protection from Violence (Code 209A) with application (page 1)
Sample Complaint for Protection from Violence (C. 209A) (page 2)
Sample Claimant's Application for Support Request
Sample Complainant Privacy Form
Sample Defendant Data Form
Sample Petition and Application for Withdrawal
How do I file a child support claim?
How much do you have to pay to get a child support order?
When you file a child support claim, you are simultaneously filing a "complaint or lawsuit." For all claims other than Complaint for Support of Spouse or Child or Chapter 209 Complaint for Support of Spouse or ChildA” (Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A)) you must pay:
the prescribed amount for filing a claim and an additional fee of $15.
also $5 for a subpoena.
to a deputy sheriff or bailiff for service in delivering a subpoena. Usually it is $35-45. There is no fee to service a Violence Protection Claim.
Complaint for Divorce - $200.
Complaint for Separate Support - $100. 00.
Complaint to Establish Paternity - $100.
Complaint for Support - Custody - Visitation - $100.
For claims: Complaint for Support of Spouse or Child or Section 209 Protection from Violence and Abuse ClaimsA (Complaint for Protection from Abuse (G.L. c. 209A)) no fixed fee, no additional fee, no fee for delivery of the summons.
If you cannot pay these costs
If you receive public assistance or have very little income, you may be exempt from court fees. In this case, the state will take over the payment of all paperwork. If you cannot pay for these services, fill out a document called an Affidavit of Indigency and have the court clerk you give it to check it.
What if I need child support right away?
If you file a Complaint for Protection from Abuse that includes a child support order, you can get support very quickly.
If you are filing familiar types of claims, you may have to wait longer to receive your child support. You can speed up this process by filing a Motion for Temporary Support at the same time as your claim.
When you file a lawsuit, ask the clerk to give you the appropriate "motion form". No additional fee is required for this. You must submit a petition form to the sheriff or constable along with the claim. If you have already filed a claim and court officials are already working on it, you can file Motion for Temporary Support separately.
When you file this petition, you must set a date for the hearing. Ask the clerk of the court what days such motions are heard. Select a specific date and enter it in the submitted application.
If the other parent wants to contest your application, they must appear in court on the scheduled date for the hearing. You should also come to the hearing and bring with you:
Your completed Financial Statement,
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet you completed,
Wage assignment form,
Any proof of the other parent's earnings that you can provide.
If the other parent comes to the hearing, the court will ask him and you to meet with a court probation officer. Such a meeting is needed to see if you can come to an agreement. If you have a 209A protective order, then you must be in different rooms. By law, you have the right to be in separate rooms with the other parent. The court official will talk to you in turn, trying to help you come to an agreement.
Don't settle for what you feel is unfair. You have the right to speak to the judge. Typically, the judge decides that the other parent must pay the amount of support that is in line with the child support guidelines, or an amount close to that. If you agreed to a lower amount when you met with the judge, make sure you think it through.
If the other parent comes to the hearing, the court will ask them and you to meet with a court probation officer. Such a meeting is needed to see if you can come to an agreement. If you have a Section 209 Protection OrderA (209A protective order), then you should be in different rooms. By law, you have the right to be in separate rooms with the other parent. The court official will talk to you in turn, trying to help you come to an agreement. Do not settle for something that you feel is unfair. You have the right to speak to the judge. Typically, the judge decides that the other parent must pay the amount of support that is in line with the child support guidelines, or an amount close to that. If you agreed to a lower amount at your meeting with the judge, make sure you think it through.
After the hearing, the judge will most likely issue a temporary support order. This temporary order will remain in effect until you receive a final order in a divorce or child support case.
How can I find out how much the other parent earns?
Here are three ways to do this:
Send the other parent a financial statement after filing the claim Ask the other parent to fill it out and send it to you. He must complete it within a few days.
If you have his last pay check stubs, bring them to the hearing and show them to the judge.
Subpoena an official to testify on the other parent's wages.
When you file your claim, immediately send your child's father the completed Financial Statement form and a letter asking them to complete the form by a certain date. The other parent must do so within 10 days. When he returns the completed form to you, you will know how much he earns, of course, if he writes the truth.
If you do not send a letter asking you to complete the financial statement form, the other parent must still send you their financial statement. He must do so within 45 days of the date the sheriff served him notice of your filing.
If you filed Motion for Temporary Support, the other parent must complete and mail the Financial Statement form at least 2 days before the hearing.
What if the other parent does not complete their Financial Statement?
The law requires the other parent to complete their Financial Statement and send you a copy. He could get in trouble in court if he refuses to do so. If he didn't send you this form within the deadline, you can file a motion with the court to have him send you the report. This form is called Motion to Compel.
Summons to subpoena the other parent to testify on wages (Subpoena)
If you do not have wage stubs (wage stubs), you can request a "subpoena" of an official to testify about the other parent's wages. Subpoena is a subpoena to appear in court to testify. The subpoena also requires that person to bring certain documents.
Since there is a court case, you can send a subpoena to the other parent's employer. The payroll employee must go to court and tell the court how much money they are paying the other parent. If that employee does not want to appear in court, the employer can send a "certified" record of the other parent's paychecks directly to the court. If the employer ignores the subpoena altogether, the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.