Child Support Lawyer in Mississippi
Trusted Family Law Attorneys
When parents are unmarried or divorced, the court may issue an order regarding the custody, care, and maintenance of minor children. Each parent may be required to contribute to the support of the child, based on financial ability, or to provide health insurance, if insurance is available through an employer or another organization.
Contact John Robert White, PA for accurate advice from a Mississippi child support attorney. We can be reached at (601) 675-4308.
How Child Support Is Determined
The state of Mississippi has guidelines in place for child support. Generally, these guidelines are applicable unless the paying parent makes less than $10,000 per year or more than $100,000 per year. The award is usually calculated as a percentage of “adjusted gross income” based on the number of children. For example, for one child, 14% of adjusted gross income is awarded. The percentage for two children is 20%, for three children is 22%, for four children is 24%, and for five or more children is 26%.
Income considered includes, but is not limited to:
- Salary and wages from employment
- Self-employment income
- Investment income
- Worker’s compensation, unemployment, disability
- Retirement benefits and annuities
- Any other income payments made by a person, private entity, or government
- Income earned from an interest in or from inherited property
- All other forms of earned income
Adjusted gross income does not include the income of a parent’s new spouse. Adjusted gross income is determined by taking the gross income and deducting legally mandated deductions including all federal, state, and local income taxes, contributions for Social Security, mandatory retirement or disability payments, existing court orders for support of other children, and an amount deemed appropriate by the court for a parent with other children residing with him or her. The monthly obligation is determined by computing the total annual adjusted gross income and dividing that amount by 12.
Exceptions to Guidelines
The guidelines are based on typical situations but may be adjusted to meet the circumstances of a particular case. This may include either increases or decreases to the amount listed in the guidelines. For example, support may be increased based on extraordinary expenses for medical, dental, psychological, or educational needs, special needs, and other expenses. Child support orders may also be adjusted based on the independent income of the child, payment of both spousal and child support, seasonal variations in a parent’s income, the specifics of a shared parental agreement, total assets, and other factors.
There are some situations in which child support shall be terminated. Those occasions include when the child turns 21 years old, marries, serves in the military full-time, or has a felony conviction and has been sentenced to a jail sentence of 2 years or more. The are other situations in which child support may be terminated. Those situations include when the child discontinues full-time enrollment in school after turning 18 years old, unless the child has a disability; or moves voluntarily from the custodial parent or guardian's home, establishes their own independent arrangements, obtains a full-time job, and ends their educations before turning 21 years old; or cohabitates with another individual without parental approval. It takes a special order of the court to terminate the child support under these conditions.
Legal Advice for Your Circumstances
Because every family situation is unique, it is a good idea to discuss your specific state of affairs with an experienced Mississippi child support lawyer. It normally takes an hour or less to assess our client’s situation and to explain the clients options to him or her.