Child Support Guidelines in Mississippi

Factors Used to Determine Child Support in Mississippi

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A court in Mississippi uses several criteria to determine an appropriate child support amount during a child support hearing. In Mississippi, parents are obligated to support a minor child until the child reaches age 21, emancipates, joins the military, marries, stops attending school full-time and obtains full-time employment, or voluntarily leaves home and obtains full-time employment. 

Child Support Is a Serious Responsibility

Just as having a child is a serious responsibility, so is providing for that child until reaching adulthood—whether you remain married or are divorced.

With only 69 percent of all child support awards actually paid nationwide, the government has increased child support enforcement efforts. If a parent fails to pay child support, it can result in wage garnishment or a punishment of up to two years in jail. If a parent becomes unable to pay, then a court may not sanction that parent. It is important to file a modification to your child support court order reflecting your change in financial status.

Even if there is a change in marital status by the mother or father or the birth of additional children in a second marriage, your child is still due ample support.

If you are late with support payments, the other parent may not like it, but you still have rights to see your child. A custodial parent cannot usually deny visitation to the supportive parent for any reason.

Factors Used to Determine Child Support Amount

In Mississippi, the general rule of thumb is that a parent will usually pay between 14 percent of their adjusted gross income for one child and up to 26 percent for six or more children.

A court in Mississippi will consider the following income sources in calculating a child support order:

  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Worker's compensation
  • Disability
  • Pensions
  • Annuities

The Mississippi court will take a number of factors into consideration before making a final determination of the child support amount.

These include the financial resources of the parents (and child, if any), the child's age, number of children residing with the parent who does not have custody, child support obligations for other children, and the custody arrangement.

In addition to child support payments, a Mississippi court may order a parent to add a child to a parent's health, dental, and life insurance coverage, as well as contribute to any other medical, dental or educational expenses that may arise.

Modification of a Child Support Order

If there needs to be a change to a child support order, then both parents can agree to a change in writing, have it notarized, and authorized by the court. If both parents do not agree, but one feels a change needs to be made, you can request a review of your order every three years or if you have had a major life change that affects your ability to pay, like loss of job or disability, then you must prove that you have a "material change in circumstances."

Legal Advice

For more information or legal advice about divorce, custody, or child support in Mississippi, speak with a qualified attorney in Mississippi.