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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri child support: Seeking a change when struggling to pay

Missouri parents can struggle to make ends meet in the current economy, but adding child support into the mix can worsen their financial status. Parents struggling to meet their child support obligations have legal options available to them, and they can request a reduction in their payments if a valid hardship exists. Such may be the case for a former official in another state who is struggling to make the $1,227 per month payments he's been ordered to make.

The man has requested a reduction in his child support payments for four months as he recovers from hip surgery and tries to find another job. Perhaps complicating his situation further is the fact that he is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing while he was agricultural commissioner for the state. He is currently facing an inquiry over legal and ethical violations, and he says it is making his job search difficult.

This former Arkansas official claims he is financially dependent upon his parents right now to help him pay his bills and that he is bringing in less than $500 per month in income. His ex-wife testified in connection with his appeal for modification that he has outside income sources and had a plan to continue bringing in money if he was not re-elected. The judge in the case has taken the matter under advisement and plans to issue a ruling as soon as possible.

Parents in Missouri who are ordered to pay child support can find themselves in a financial bind if their employment circumstances suddenly change. Why those circumstances change may matter little in the final determination of an appeal for modification. The court's overriding concerns are what is in the best interest of the child and if a parent cannot meet set payments, it may serve little purpose to keep things as they are. In the face of life's realities, when faced with legal demands, it makes sense to turn to an experienced attorney for help.

Source: The Courier Journal, "Richie Farmer seeks reduction in child support payments," Mike Wynn, Sept. 13, 2012

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