During a divorce or custody action, Mississippi courts may oblige the non-custodial parent to pay child support up to a certain time. If you are going through these proceedings, you should know the laws, limitations, how it is calculated and penalties if you fail to deliver.
Child support in Mississippi
Mississippi Annotated Code of 1972, Sections 43-19-101 and 43-19-103, governs child support cases in the state. When you are separated from your partner, you can both agree on how to support the child; however, if you want to make this obligation enforceable, it is better to get a child support order from the court.
How child support works in Mississippi
When the courts are calculating the amount that the non-custodial parent will pay for child custody, they won’t consider the income of both parents but rather the income of the obligor, which is the person obligated to pay child support. The court calculates that amount from gross income. Your gross income is all the money you receive, including your alimony, military pay, pensions, bonuses, commissions, salary, and wages.
If you have one child, the court will urge you to pay 14% of your gross income to the custodial parent. If you have two, then it’s 20%; three is 22%; four is 24%; five or more is 26%. This money is intended to pay for medical support and basic care of the child, like education, shelter, food, clothing, medical insurance premiums, etc.
For how long will you pay for child support in Mississippi?
The obligor will pay child support until the child turns 21. However, it can end sooner if the child joins the military and serves full-time, marries, or is incarcerated for two or more years for a felony charge.
What happens if you don’t pay child support in Mississippi?
If you don’t pay child support as ordered by the court, the Department of Child Support Enforcement, or DCSE, can take certain actions. These include:
• Suspend your professional or occupational licenses, driver’s license, and other licenses that you have.
• Intercept your funds from unemployment checks as well as tax returns.
• Intercept your paychecks from your employer.
• Take you to court for contempt, which can lead to a jail term.
Mississippi takes child support cases very seriously. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where the DCSE is up against you for not paying what the court-ordered.