Ponder v. Ponder (Mississippi 2022)

No. 202-CA-01196-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2022)
October 2022

An upward modification can be retroactive to the date of the event justifying the upward modification. When the parents divorced, they had joint physical and legal custody of the child, and no support was ordered. The decree was later modified to grant the mother physical custody of the child. The order stayed entry of a child support order for 90 days. He was to find employment during that time or notify the mother of his failure to find employment so she could take the next action. The father never provided the information. Eighteen months later, the mother filed to modify support. The chancery court granted her petition and made support retroactive to the end of the ninety-day period. The father appealed. The appellate court affirmed the order of retroactive support. Mississippi statute clearly allows a retroactive modification in these circumstances. The language of the order indicated the father would begin paying support at the end of the 90-day stay. The father also argued the mother wasn’t entitled to retroactive support because she didn’t plead for it. Mississippi statutes doesn’t require a specific request for a retroactive modification.