There are many matters that must be addressed when going through a divorce. Aside from the legal decisions that must be made, a Mississippi resident must contend with the emotional and personal challenges of ending their marriage. These difficulties can be compounded by the presence of children in their family.
One important child-related divorce issue that can cause parents to have worries is child support. Child support is the financial support parents provide to care for their children, and both married and divorced parents are expected to provide child support. Married parents generally share in the collective duty to provide their children with financial support, but divorced parents often must rely on a court order or approved agreement to know what and how much support each will pay for the benefit of their shared kids.
It begins with income
Under Mississippi’s child support statute, the amount of money that a parent will have to pay in support to their children is based on their income. Income is money earned from many different sources, including but not limited to wages, tips, royalties, dividends, annuities, alimony, and others. It can also include money received in the form of benefits, such as from the Social Security Administration.
Deductions may be made
Once a parent’s income is determined, some deductions can be subtracted from the total. Payments for taxes, government programs like Social Security, and others are mandated and must be removed from the income total. A parent subject to child support payments may also deduct some child-rearing costs if they live with another child who is not a part of the operating child support order.
Based on what is left over after the income calculation and deductions are made, the parent’s income is multiplied by a factor that corresponds to the number of children they will be supporting through the order. For example, a parent whose child support order applies to one child will have 14% of their adjusted gross income taken in satisfaction of their child support obligation.
Understanding one’s unique situation
Calculating child support involves investigating sources of income, determining deductions, and computing totals. It can be both tricky and confusing. There is no reason, however, that parents must take on the difficult task of computing their child support obligations on their own. They can seek the support of trusted family law attorneys for help. Legal professionals who work in this field can support their clients’ individual needs and explain the factors that may alter the outcomes of their child support cases.