A child was born to a Russian citizen in West Virginia. Father was a Missouri resident and a support order was sought for the child through the Department of Social Services (DSS), which established paternity and Father’s financial responsibility for support. Mother and child now live in Russia. The Father filed a petition for judicial review and the trial court found that Department of Social Services was without jurisdiction to enter an administrative order requiring Father to pay child support. Upon Father’s motion the trial court overturned the administrative order. DSS appealed.
Held: Reversed.“. . . Father argues that unless a recipient is a resident of the State of Missouri or another state, the recipient is not eligible for child support services.”
The applicable sections of the statutes, § 454.425 and 454.400, do not provide for child support relief for only United States residents. “By its plain terms, § 454.400.2(14) is broad, requiring child support services to be provided to any other child for whom services are applied. This is in keeping with § 454.425, which also broadly permits services to be provided to all children, custodial parents, and persons entitled to receive support. A harmonious reading of § 454.425 and 454.400.2(14) indicates that the legislature intended to authorize and require DSS to provide services to
any child for whom services are applied. This broad and unrestricted directive is not, by its terms or by implication, limited to residents (or citizens) of the United States.”