Dads’ forum offers hope, solution for single fathers

Missouri fathers who owe child support to their former partners might find themselves running afoul of the legal system when they are unable to meet their obligations. Often this is through no fault of their own. The loss of a job can make life more difficult for parents to make ends meet for themselves, let alone to keep current with their child support payments.

A recent panel of experts in St. Louis reminded fathers who owe child support that this kind of situation doesn’t need to be as bleak as it might seem. Fathers whose child support payment requirements are proving to be untenable can file a motion to have their payments adjusted to something that is fair and affordable for them. Often, consulting with an experienced Missouri family law attorney is a necessity for filing such a motion.

One option that fathers might not have thought of is to make in-kind payments. Essentially, it functions as a credit for performing services or buying goods. The arrangement has to be worked out in advance, of course; people who want to explore this option want to be sure it’s been agreed to before doing something that they expect credit for — whether that’s mowing lawns or doing something similar.

As a state legislator in attendance pointed out to the crowd, state laws tend to favor the custodial parent when it comes to factoring child support — which means that fathers may find the deck stacked against them when they seek a fair arrangement.

Source: The St. Louis American, “Fathers’ Support Center hosts child support symposium,” Bridjes O’Neil, Dec. 24, 2013

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