454.465. 1. For purposes of sections 454.460 to 454.505, a payment of public assistance by the division of family services to or for the benefit of any dependent child, including any payment made for the benefit of the caretaker of the child, creates an obligation, to be called "state debt", which is due and owing to the department by the parent, or parents, absent from the home where the dependent child resided at the time the public assistance was paid. The amount of the state debt shall be determined as follows:
(1) Where there exists a court order directed to a parent which covers that parent's support obligation to a dependent during a period in which the division of family services provided public assistance to or for the benefit of that dependent, the state debt of that parent shall be an amount equal to the obligation ordered by the court, including arrearages and unpaid medical expenses, up to the full amount of public assistance paid; or
(2) Where no court order covers a parent's support obligation to a dependent during a period in which the division of family services provided public assistance to or for the benefit of that dependent, the state debt may be set or reset by the director in an amount not to exceed the amount of public assistance so provided by the division of family services.
2. No agreement between any obligee and any obligor regarding any duty of support, or responsibility therefor, or purporting to settle past, present, or future support obligations either as settlement or prepayment shall act to reduce or terminate any rights of the division to recover from that obligor for public assistance provided.
3. The division shall have the right to make a motion to a court or administrative tribunal for modification of any court order creating a support obligation which has been assigned to the division of family services to the same extent as a party to that action.
4. The department, or any division thereof, as designated by the department director is hereby authorized to promulgate such rules pursuant to section 454.400 and chapter 536 as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and the requirements of the federal Social Security Act, including, but not necessarily limited to, the opportunity for a hearing to contest an order of the division establishing or modifying support rules for narrowing issues and simplifying the methods of proof at hearings, and establishing procedures for notice and the manner of service to be employed in all proceedings and remedies instituted pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.505.
5. Service pursuant to sections 454.460 to 454.505 may be made on the parent or other party in the manner prescribed for service of process in a civil action, by an authorized process server appointed by the director, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The director may appoint any uninterested party, including, but not necessarily limited to, employees of the division, to serve such process. For the purposes of this subsection, a parent who refuses receipt of service by certified mail is deemed to have been served.
6. Creation of or exemption from a state debt pursuant to this section shall not limit any rights which the department has or may obtain pursuant to common or statutory law, including, but not limited to, those obtained pursuant to an assignment of support rights obtained pursuant to section 208.040.
(L. 1982 S.B. 468 § 14, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361)
Missouri General Assembly