Dads in Mississippi and beyond often get a bad rap when they become noncustodial parents in a divorce. Most dads, just like most mothers, want what is best for their children and do not consider divorce a reason to negate their parental responsibilities, especially financial obligations. Financial problems are common in life, however, which is why state law allows a parent paying child support to request lower payments, if necessary.
The court always has children’s best interests in mind when making child support decisions. The court also understands that a father’s financial situation may unexpectedly change, making agreed-upon payments no longer feasible, either temporarily or permanently. In such cases, a judge can review a request for modification and lower, pause or halt payments altogether.
A dad might have a legitimate reason for requesting child support modification
Unless a family court judge grants a petition to modify a child support order, both parents must continue to adhere to the terms of the existing court order, no matter what. The following list shows examples that the court might consider justifiable for requesting lower child support payments:
- Dad loses job.
- Unexpected medical bills arise.
- Dad gains stepchildren in remarriage.
- Financial crisis occurs due to car crash or another situation.
The court may use its discretion to determine if a specific request for modification is justified. If not, then the judge may deny a father’s request.
Financial problems do not always mean that a dad is irresponsible
A dad requesting modification of a child support order does not necessarily mean that he is trying to shirk his responsibilities as a parent. Sometimes, financial problems occur that are out of a father’s control. A concerned Mississippi parent can discuss his case with an experienced family law attorney before filing a petition for child support modification to seek guidance and recommendations, especially regarding how to word a request in writing.