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Child Support in Mississippi

When a divorce is awarded, the Court may make an order touching the care, custody and maintenance of the minor children (under age 21) of the marriage. 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%

Exceptions to the 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:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational or dental expenses.
  • Independent income of the child.
  • The payment of both child support and spousal support to the obligee.
  • Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses.
  • The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
  • 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.
  • The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the noncustodial 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 noncustodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child, or giving due consideration to the custodial parent's homemaking services.
  • Total available assets of the obligee, obligor and the child.
  • 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. The court may determine that emancipation has occurred and no other support obligation exists when the child:

  • Attains the age of 21 years;
  • Marries;
  • Discontinues full-time enrollment in school and obtains full-time employment prior to attaining the age of 21 years; or
  • Voluntarily moves from the home of the custodial parent or guardian and establishes independent living arrangements and obtains full-time employment prior to attaining the age of 21 years.

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In order to file for divorce in Mississippi, a party must give grounds for divorce and prove them with evidence or testimony. Mississippi recognizes the following grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences (which is no-fault) and other grounds that include impotence, adultery, incarceration, felony conviction, drug or alcohol abuse, insanity for at least a three-year period, the wifes pregnancy by someone else without the husband being aware, willful desertion for at least one year, cruel and inhuman treatment, incest, and one spouse lacking the mental capability to consent to terminate a marriage.
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