Your child support obligation in Mississippi may be affected by your custody order. Although both parents are responsible for maintaining their children, child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent determined by the Mississippi Child Support Calculator.
Now, a “non-custodial parent” is one who spends less than half of the time with his or her child (ren). The parent who lives with the child(ren) is known as the “custodial parent”. While a custodial parent is also accountable for child support, the law presumes that this parent spends the majority of his or her money on the child.
When a child turns 18, graduates from high school, and becomes lawfully liberated, the parent’s obligation to pay average child support remains. If the kid is still in high school or has a major impairment or medical need, one parent’s child support obligation may be extended through the age of 18.
How to Calculate Child Support Payments in MS
The amount of child support paid by each parent is determined by their income and the number of children who require assistance, computed by the Mississippi Child Support Calculator stated in the child support worksheet. MS establishes a basic support amount based on its child support rules, which are essentially a fee schedule.
For a single child, the guideline formula is 14 per cent of the non-custodial parent’s income, 20 per cent for two children, 22 per cent for three children, 24 per cent for four children, and 26 per cent for five or more children.
Therefore, depending on your kid’s requirements and family income, your ultimate child support amount might be considerably different. Other expenses must be included, such as the child’s medical treatment. Similarly, a court might increase or lower a parent’s child support obligation to meet the kid’s needs better.
The gross income of the non-custodial parent must be known in order to compute support. Money collected from practically any source is “gross income.” Wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, pensions, military pay, and alimony received are all included in the child support worksheet.
Money from assets, trusts, and interest in or inherited property can all be included in gross salary. Even if you’re unemployed, there’s a good possibility you’re still getting paid through unemployment insurance, Social Security, or workers’ compensation.
When calculating support, you can deduct income from a later spouse’s contribution to your present family. If the non-custodial parent remarries, for example, the money earned by the new spouse is not included in the non-custodial parent’s gross income.
Subtract all taxes, social security benefits, necessary retirement and disability contributions, and child support already set from the non-custodial parent’s total income. The discrepancy is the adjusted gross income of the non-custodial parent.
To calculate child support payments, multiply the parent’s adjusted gross income by the percentage needed to sustain the number of children. This will satisfy your basic child support requirement, but one or both parents will be responsible for the child’s medical expenses.
Challenging the Amount of Child Support
The state assumes that the child support amount determined by the standards is correct for your kid. However, there are situations when the overall amount or the manner in which it is distributed is discriminatory to a kid or parent.
Before such a child support order is in place, any parent can request that the judge adjust the amount of support. When a parent submits proof that the quantity would be unfair – a process known as “rebutting the assumption” – the court may increase or lower the amount of assistance depending on the following factors:
- Medical, mental, educational, or dental costs are out of the ordinary.
- The child’s own source of income.
- The alimony payment was made to the custodial parent.
- Adjustments in one or both parents’ salaries or spending during the year.
- The child’s age, taking into mind that older children have more complex demands.
- Special requirements have typically been provided within the family budget, despite meeting such needs exceeding the standards.
- The shared parenting situation in question.
- The combined value of the parent’s and child’s assets.
- The cost of child care.
- Any other required modification to produce a fair result, which may include, but is not restricted to, an appropriate and prudent existing cost or debt.
Modifying the Amount of Child Support
Parents can agree to alter (change) the amount of help their child receives. Meanwhile, the contract must be in writing and authenticated or approved by the clerk of the appropriate court. After that, the contract must be filed with the court and judged.
A judge will only uphold the parents’ agreement if it is in the child’s best interests. Only then will a settlement have the same legal effect as a permanent child support decree.
If you and the other parent are unable to work together, you have two options for changing a present child support arrangement. First, you can demand an actual court reconsideration of your child support order every three years. On the other hand, any changes would be based on the guidelines and the best interests of the kid. As a result, if the non-custodial parent’s income has grown, the payments may increase. Payments will also be reduced if the non-custodial parent’s income has fallen.
Second, if you have proof of a major change in circumstances, you can request a revision at any time. A job loss is a frequent change in circumstances, but it might also be a life event such as the birth of a kid or a shift in the period of time your child spends with you.
Collecting and Enforcing Child Support Orders in Mississippi
If a child support order is in effect, the custodial parent should obtain accurate and frequent support payments. Child support calculated using the Mississippi Child Support Calculator can be paid in cash, by check, via bank transfer, or through payment information like Zelle or Venmo by the non – custodial parent.
Who helps collect child support in MS?
The Mississippi Department of Human Services assists a parent in collecting average child support, but it has no authority over the amount.
When all other options have been explored, or the matter has been assigned by the Department of Human Services, the MS Attorney General’s office prosecutes cases of unpaid child support.
How can I establish paternity?
At the time of birth, paternity can be established. You can establish a legal relationship with your child’s father by completing an Affirmation of Paternity form at the hospital. Paternity can also be verified by court order, either freely or involuntarily.
If you meet the requirements, the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Kid Support Enforcement (DCSE) can use genetic testing to assist you to demonstrate a paternal relationship for your child or children.
How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Mississippi?
In scenarios when the custody agreement allows for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents, all states provide a mechanism of adjusting the amount of average child support payable.
According to MS law, a shared custody arrangement can be used by the court supervising the child support order as a reason for a deviation from the state’s normal child support calculations.
This implies that if the non-custodial parent spends parenting time with the custodial parent, the judge may lower the amount of average child support due to the non-custodial parent’s resource expenditures throughout their time with the child.
Courts in MS can mandate the non-custodial parent to contribute to their child’s college tuition after they graduate from high school. Whether post-secondary academic help is awarded and how much is ordered depends on the circumstances.
According to IRS standards, child support recipients are not required to pay federal tax on their payments, and child support payers are not permitted to deduct their payments. This contrasts with the federal taxation of alimony payments, which the receiver treats as taxable income and the payor deducts. Child support may be taxed differently under Mississippi law.