Last time we were discussing the issue of modification of child support payments. This is a difficult process because the Missouri legislature has required that a court can only modify this child support obligation if there is proof of a substantial and continuing change that the current payment becomes unreasonable.
For instance, if you lose your job, you income will drop and your ability to make these payments will be severely hampered. But the reason the statute requires the change be continuing is that most people cannot live very long without any source of income.
The court expects that you will find some type of work and be able to resume making your child support payments. However, with the Great Recession and the job losses that followed, some individuals found they could no longer find an equivalent job to the one they lost.
They were able to find work, but it may have been in a lower-level position or it may have been only part-time. This may be a circumstance that would qualify for a modification of a child support payment.
However, you and your attorney will need to be very through by providing solid evidence that you did not merely “voluntarily” reduce your income to obtain a reduction in child support obligations. You will need to show a very diligent job search and other documentation that demonstrates that you were faced with no choice but to accepted work with less pay.
Courts can impute income if they believe an individual is trying to avoid paying child support by not working or becoming underemployed.
Modifications are possible for child support but they are not granted easily by Missouri courts and are likely only to occur when you have permanently suffered a reduced income. If a recalculation of your child support obligation would result in a 20 percent change in your payment, it is likely a court will grant a modification.