Mississippi Child Support

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Child support is an enforceable court order. Generally family courts are empowered to order non-custodial parents or obligors to pay a specific amount to the custodial parents or guardians. In USA the child support guidelines are different for different states. The Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services shoulders the responsibility of developing the child maintenance program in this nation. Following this rule Mississippi has laid down its own guidelines. There are 84 offices in 82 counties under the Division of Child Support Enforcement. The objective of DCSE is to ensure that divorced parents provide financial and emotional support to their children. These offices play a vital role in providing child support in Mississippi divorce.

In Mississippi, DCSE operates the child support program. This division lies within the state's Department of Human Services. It helps individuals regarding the following points:

  • Establishment and enforcement of orders
  • Establishment of paternity
  • Finding the whereabouts of non-custodial parents
  • Collaborating with similar programs in other states
  • Collection and distribution of payments
  • Modification of orders

During the state fiscal year 2009, the child support collections were about 286.696 million USD.

Amount of Child Support

Mississippi child subsidy guidelines are mentioned in the Code Sections 43-19-101 and 43-19-103. According to these, a non-custodial parent in this state has to disburse 14% of his/her adjusted gross income for one child, 20% for two children, 22% for three children, 24% for four children and 26% for five or more children.

Application for Child Support in Mississippi Divorce

Let us take into consideration the families who are getting federal or state help by means of programs like food stamps, foster care, Medicaid and TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). These families are automatically referred to a child support office for support services. Let us think about those families who do not get the above-mentioned support. They need to approach the local county office and apply for support services. For this they have to disburse an application fee (usually $25) only once:

  • A person might be interested in locating the non -custodial parent. For this, he/she has to submit an application for these services. No fees are levied for these services
  • A person might desire to establish paternity of the child. For this, he/she may be required to pay some fee.

Guidelines regarding Child Support in Mississippi Divorce

The guidelines in this state determine what percent of the gross income of the non-custodial parent must be reserved for child maintenance. The factors that are considered by these guidelines are as follows:

  • The requirements of the children
  • The number of children for whom support must be awarded
  • The financial status of the non-custodial as well as custodial parent

A parent, who is ordered to disburse support, must continue to pay it till the following conditions are satisfied:

  • There is modification in the order.
  • The child is emancipated.

In Mississippi, the age of emancipation is 21 years. A judge might announce that the child is emancipated at an earlier age in the cases mentioned below:

  • The child establishes a residence outside the house of the custodial parent.
  • The child gets full time work.
  • The child signs up with the military.
  • The child marries
  • Felony conviction: the child is imprisoned for a period of two or more years for this reason.

Some highlights of the guidelines are as follows:

  • No UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act)
  • No secondary education support
  • No childcare add on
  • No extraordinary medical expenses add on
  • Worksheets are available.
  • Percent of Income Model is utilized.
  • Income Share Model is not used.
Enforcement Measures

The DCSE executes the following ways to enforce payments:

  • Revocation of passport
  • Suspension of professional licenses, driver's licenses and other state issued licenses
  • Sending report to credit bureaus
  • Contempt actions
  • Interception of unemployment compensation directly from the non-custodial parent's unemployment check
  • Interception of tax offset from State or IRS tax refunds
  • Employment ordered by court, that is, the court has the right to order the non-custodial parent to get any work in order to pay the support amount.

These are some of the most significant aspects of Mississippi divorce child support. You may take the help of your attorney to get a clear idea of all the guidelines and the legal formalities that you have to do. You may also seek the services of DCSE and resolve specific issues.

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