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Mississippi Family Law Attorneys

CHILD SUPPORT

When a divorce is awarded or even if the parties are not married, the court may make an order touching the care, custody and maintenance of the minor children (under age 21) of the parties. Where both parents have separate incomes or estates, the court may require that each parent contribute to the support and maintenance of the minor children in proportion to their relative financial ability. If one of the parents has health insurance available through an employer or other organization, the court may require that parent to provide health insurance for the child.

Amount of Child Support

The following child support guidelines are presumed to be appropriate. These guidelines apply unless the court makes a specific finding that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case.

Number of children due support

Percentage of Adjusted Gross Income

1

14%

2

20%

3

22%

4

24%

5

26%


What is “Adjusted Gross Income?”

A. Determine gross income from all potential sources that may reasonably be expected to be available to the parent including, but not limited to:

wages and salary;

income from self employment;

income from commissions;

income from investments, including dividends, interest income and income on any trust account or property;

parent's portion of any joint income of both parents;

workers' compensation, disability, unemployment;

annuity and retirement benefits, including an individual retirement account;

any other payments made by any person, private entity, federal or state government or any unit of local government;

alimony;

any income earned from an interest in or from inherited property;

any other form of earned income;

Gross Income DOES NOT INCLUDE income of the person’s current spouse.

B. Subtract the following legally mandated deductions:

      Federal, state and local taxes. Contributions to the payment of taxes over and beyond the actual liability for the taxable year shall not be considered a mandatory deduction;

      Social security contributions;

      Retirement and disability contributions except any voluntary retirement and disability contributions.

C. If the absent parent is subject to an existing court order for another child or children, subtract the amount of that court-ordered support.

D. If the absent parent is also the parent of another child or other children residing with him, then the court may subtract an amount that it deems appropriate to account for the needs of said child or children.

E. Compute the total annual amount of adjusted gross income based on paragraphs (a) through (d), then divide this amount by twelve (12) to obtain the monthly amount of adjusted gross income.


Exception to Child Support Guidelines

The presumption of appropriateness of the guidelines may be overcome if the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case as determined according to the following criteria:

(a) Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational or dental expenses.

(b) Independent income of the child.

(c) The payment of both child support and spousal support to the obligee.

(d) Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses.

(e) The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.

(f) Special needs that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the proposed guidelines.

(g) The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the non-custodial parent spends a great deal of time with the children thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the custodial parent, or the refusal of the non-custodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child, or giving due consideration to the custodial parent's homemaking services.

(h) Total available assets of the obligee, obligor and the child.

(i) Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt.

In cases in which the adjusted gross income is more than $50,000.00 or less than $5,000.00, the court shall make a written finding as to whether or not the application of the guidelines is reasonable. Also, if the absent parent is also the parent of another child or other children residing with him, then the court may subtract an amount that it deems appropriate to account for the needs of the other child or children.

Termination of Child Support

The duty to pay child support terminates upon the emancipation of the child. Unless otherwise provided for in the underlying child support judgment, emancipation shall occur when the child:

      1. Attains the age of twenty-one (21) years, or

      2. Marries, or

      3 Joins the military and serves on a full-time basis, or

      4. Is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to incarceration of two (2) or more years for committing such felony. The duty of support of a child who is incarcerated but not emancipated shall be suspended for the period of the child's incarceration.

Unless otherwise provided for in the underlying child support judgment, the court may determine that emancipation has occurred and no other support obligation exists when the child:

      1. Discontinues full-time enrollment in school having attained the age of eighteen (18) years, unless the child is disabled, or

      2. Voluntarily moves from the home of the custodial parent or guardian, establishes independent living arrangements, obtains full-time employment and discontinues educational endeavors prior to attaining the age of twenty-one (21) years, or

      3. Cohabits with another person without the approval of the parent obligated to pay support.

Emancipation does not terminate the obligation to pay arrearages existing as of the date of emancipation.

Mississippi Family Law Attorneys serving all of Central Mississippi including Madison, Rankin, Hinds, Yazoo, Holmes, and Leake Counties in the areas of divorce, child custody, child support, child visitation, property division, alimony, annulment, paternity, grandparent visitation, adoption, guardianships, conservatorships, estate probate, and appeals.


John Robert White, P.A., 1052 Highland Colony Parkway, 100 Concourse Building, Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157 Toll Free (866) 605-9811 Tel: (601) 605-9811 Fax: (601) 605-9836

Mississippi Divorce Law | Mississippi Child Support Law | Mississippi Division of Marital Assets | Mississippi divorce attorney

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