Mississippi Child Support Guidelines

When a child only lives with one of his or her parents (the custodial parent), the parent that the child doesn't live with (the non-custodial parent) will often be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. The idea is that both parents are obligated to financially provide for their children.

But how much child support is the non-custodial parent required to pay? Family courts determine how much child support a parent is required to pay by using the state's child support guidelines. The following chart highlights Mississippi's main child support guidelines.

Code Section

Mississippi Code section 43-19-101: Child Support Award Guidelines

How to Calculate "Adjusted Gross Income"

Step 1: Determine gross income from all potential sources that are reasonably expected to be available to the non-custodial parent.

  • For example: wage and salary income, income from investments, interest income, workers' compensation, disability benefits, alimony, unemployment benefits, and any other form of earned income.

Step 2: Subtract the following deductions:

  • Federal, state, and local taxes
  • Social security contributions
  • Retirement and disability contributions (except for voluntary contributions)
  • Any pre-existing child support orders
  • If the non-custodial parent is also the parent of a child that lives with him, then the court may subtract an appropriate amount to account for the needs of that child

Step 3: Divide this amount by 12 in order to obtain the monthly amount of adjusted gross income. Use this amount to calculate the standard monthly child support award by using the chart below.

Standard Support Awards

Number Of Children Due Support

% Of Adjusted Gross Income that Should Be Awarded For Support

1

14%

2

20%

3

22%

4

24%

5 or more

26%

Deviations from the Standard

The standard support awards outlined above are applicable unless:
  • The court finds that applying these guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate, or
  • If the non-custodial parent's adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 or less than $10,000

Criteria for Deviating from the Child Support Guidelines

There is a reputable presumption that child support awards calculated according to Mississippi's support guidelines are appropriate and just. This presumption can be overcome by a court considering the following facts and finding that the guidelines aren't appropriate:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses
  • Independent income of the child
  • The payment of both child support and spousal support to the custodial spouse
  • 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
  • The particular shared parental agreement
  • Total available assets of either parents or the child
  • Child care expenses paid by the non-custodial parent in order to seek or retain employment, or because of the non-custodial parent's disability, or
  • Any other adjustment needed to achieve an equitable result

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Mississippi's child support guidelines contact a local family law attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.