Jackson Divorce Attorney Discusses Child Support in Mississippi

No matter where you live, getting a divorce is extremely taxing for all parties involved, including the parties’ minor children. In Mississippi however, state guidelines governing child support awards set aside a specific percentage of one’s gross adjusted income – known as the percentage of income formula – to determine same, which primarily depends upon the number of children born of the marriage.  Said percentages are as follows: for 1 child – 14%, 2 children – 20%, 3 children – 22%, 4 children – 24%, and 5 children or more – 26%.  Additional factors may be taken into account in determining an appropriate child support award, such as the taxes paid by the parties, their respective 401k/IRA contributions, and daycare costs, if applicable.  In the event that the parties were never married and the father of the child(ren) does not contribute to their support, the Mississippi child support office can ask the court to render a paternity determination and assess child support accordingly.

A Mississippi court has the discretion to order child support pursuant to the interests of justice and equity.  In cases where both parties have substantial earnings or assets, each can be required to provide financial support for the minor children in proportion to their financial ability.  Additionally, a party may be ordered to pay for the health insurance of the minor child/children.

Child support in Mississippi typically ceases when the minor child or children of the marriage attain the age of 21, join the military, are married, or, are incarcerated for two years or more.  At the time of emancipation, one’s child support obligation technically ends however, the court must be made aware of this before a person can voluntarily stop paying.

Failing to pay child support can result in serious and sometimes irreversible legal consequences.  In this view, it is strongly recommended that people remain current on their child support payments, despite the financial difficulty in doing so.  The consequences associated with people who accrue child support arrearages can include being held in contempt of court for his or her violation of the court’s original child support order. A parent who does not render timely child support payments can also be sent to jail, have their wages and/or bank accounts garnished, lose their driver’s license, and have their passport revoked.  Before back child support payments start adding up, it is urged that people consult with an attorney, who can assist them in determining whether they are eligible to modify the original child support order based upon a change in their financial circumstances.

If you are considering getting a divorce, or would like to know whether you may be eligible for a modification to your current child support order, give us a call now to learn more about how we can help you.  We are highly experienced family law attorneys who look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

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