Modified Child Support retroactive to personal service of the Motion

Recent Case: Retroactive support can only go back to the date of service of the Motion, 20% change in child support amount is grounds for modification, child support can continue if child incapacitated.

Father appeals the judgment and decree of modification of dissolution of marriage entered by the Circuit Court. Father claims that the trial court erred in: (1) extending his child support obligation; (2) failing to make sufficient findings to order his support obligation to continue past the presumed date of emancipation; (3) modifying the judgment without finding a significant and continuing change in circumstances; and (4) ordering him to pay delinquent child support since his last support payment.

The trial Court’s ruling was upheld in part, and reversed in part:

By law, child support can extend into adulthood if the child is physically or mentally incapacitated. The trial court did not err in extending Father’s child support obligation because the record contained sufficient evidence that Mother and Father’s child was incapacitated from supporting herself, insolvent, and unmarried. The trial Court was also correct in modifying the judgment because the Form 14 child support calculation increased the support amount by 20%, which is, by itself, grounds for modification.

However, the trial court was incorrect in ordering Father to make support payments for the time period before Mother filed her motion to modify and Father was served. By statute, the retroactive child support cannot begin before the filing and personal service of the motion.

Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District

No. ED100898

Filed September 30, 2014