Mississippi Child Support FAQs

What is child support? An ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or birth of a child outside of marriage.

Who is required to pay child support? In Mississippi, child support is statutorily defined-based on percentages of income. The non-custodial parent will be required to pay child support after divorce. However, when the parties are not married, the non-custodial parent will pay child support upon birth of the child.

How long is the parent responsible for child support? Until the child reaches the age of majority (age 21 in Mississippi), is on active military duty, the parents’ rights are terminated, or the child has been declared emancipated by a court.

If one parent wants to give up rights to a child, can they stop paying child support? In Mississippi, a parent’s child support obligation ceases when parental rights are terminated by the Court, either by consent of the parties or involuntary termination.

So is child support required even if the parent has no visitation or custody rights? Yes, child support is separate from custody and visitation rights, except as stated above with regard to total termination of parental rights.

Can the amount of child support paid change? Yes, the court may decide to increase or decrease the amount of child support if there is a change in the circumstances either party. A parent seeking to modify child support must show a substantial and material change in circumstances of the child or parent.

The mother/father of my child is requesting for me to pay my child support in cash, should I? Paying child support or any other Court ordered support, in cash is not a good idea. If for some reason you must pay cash, be sure to get a receipt of payment that is signed by the receiving party. It will be the responsibility of the paying party to prove he/she made the required payments if there is ever question.

If the mother and father of a child never married, are either still responsible for paying child support? Yes, anyone who is found to be the parent of a child can be held responsible for supporting the child. A mother’s or father’s name on a birth certificate creates a rebuttable presumption that the person is the parent of the child.

Is a step father or step mother required to pay child support? No, unless the step mother or step father legally adopts the child.

If the parent isn’t spending the child support on the child, is it possible to stop paying child support? Most likely no, as Mississippi does not support any accounting of how child support money is spent.

If a parent re-marries, is the new spousal income included in child support? No, only the income of the parent responsible for the child support should be included for determining the amount of child support payments.

Can the other parent and I agree to reduce child support in writing, outside of Court? No. Child support can only be modified through the Court once a order for child support has been entered. Any agreement made between the parties will not hold up in Court, and the paying party will be obligated to pay any arrearages should the parties subsequently appear before the Court.

At the Law Office of Joseph D. Songy, PLLC Attorney and Counselor at Law we take special care to ensure that you have the best representation possible when dealing with issues of child support.  Although child support in Mississippi is statutory, an attorney will be able to ensure you receive the deductions you are entitled and that support is calculated correctly. As always if you need any legal assistance, give our office a call at 601-336-0305 or email us at songylaw@gmail.com to schedule your Free Consultation from a local attorney in Hattiesburg, MS.

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this post shall be construed as an offering of legal advice.  These posts are meant for informative and educational purposes only.  Please call our office to discuss any legal issues you may be facing.

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