2005 Missouri Revised Statutes - § 568.040. — Criminal nonsupport, penalty, prosecuting attorneys to report cases to division of child support enforcement.

568.040. 1. A person commits the crime of nonsupport if he knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support for his spouse; a parent commits the crime of nonsupport if such parent knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support which such parent is legally obligated to provide for his child or stepchild who is not otherwise emancipated by operation of law.

2. For purposes of this section:

(1) "Child" means any biological or adoptive child, or any child legitimated by legal process, or any child whose relationship to the defendant has been determined, by a court of law in a proceeding for dissolution or legal separation, to be that of child to parent;

(2) "Good cause" means any substantial reason why the defendant is unable to provide adequate support. Good cause does not exist if the defendant purposely maintains his inability to support;

(3) "Support" means food, clothing, lodging, and medical or surgical attention;

(4) It shall not constitute a failure to provide medical and surgical attention, if nonmedical remedial treatment recognized and permitted under the laws of this state is provided.

3. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issues raised by subdivisions (2) and (4) of subsection 2.

4. Criminal nonsupport is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person obligated to pay child support commits the crime of nonsupport in each of six individual months within any twelve-month period, or the total arrearage is in excess of five thousand dollars, in either of which case it is a class D felony.

5. Beginning January 1, 1991, every prosecuting attorney in any county which has entered into a cooperative agreement with the division of child support enforcement shall report to the division on a quarterly basis the number of charges filed and the number of convictions obtained under this section by the prosecuting attorney's office on all IV-D cases. The division shall consolidate the reported information into a statewide report by county and make the report available to the general public.

6. Persons accused of committing the offense of nonsupport of the child shall be prosecuted:

(1) In any county in which the child resided during the period of time for which the defendant is charged; or

(2) In any county in which the defendant resided during the period of time for which the defendant is charged.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253)

(1984) A conviction will lie whether or not the child actually suffered from actual physical or material want or destitution. State v. Davis (Mo. App.), 675 S.W.2d 410.

(1991) Statute was not unconstitutionally vague when term "minor" was not defined. When there is a well-known common law meaning, it is presumed that the term will be so construed unless it clearly appears it was not intended. State v. Duggar, 806 S.W.2d 407 (Mo. en banc).

(1993) Fact that minor child does not suffer deprivation of necessary food, clothing, lodging, medical or surgical attention, or that such needs are being supplied by another, does not abrogate parent's obligation to provide adequate support. State v. Morovitz, 867 S.W.2d 506 (Mo. en banc).


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