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Child Support Lawyers in Ridgeland, MS
Our Mississippi Child Support Attorneys are Knowledgeable in the Full Range of Family Law Matters
When a couple is splitting up, determinations of child support payments often must be made. Under Mississippi state law, parents have a legal responsibility to provide basic financial support to their children. While there are child support guidelines in place to help determine how much is owed, child support cases can still be deeply complicated.
At Hancock Law Firm, our Mississippi child support lawyers have the professional skills and legal knowledge that you can trust. We understand any issue regarding children may be emotionally charged. We know that your children come first, and we will work diligently to make sure that your voice is heard throughout the process. Contact us now to get started on your case. We will work hard to create a fair child support agreement.
Our family law attorneys have helped many Ridgeland residents. We can help you as well.
We Handle All Types of Child Support Cases
With extensive experience representing clients in divorce cases and custody & visitation cases, our Mississippi family lawyers handle the full range of child support matters. Regardless of what type of child support issue you are currently dealing with, we are prepared to explain your options and help you take the best course of action. Some notable examples of child support cases we handle in Madison County include:
- Negotiation of a child support agreement;
- Representation in child support disputes;
- Guidance in paternity cases;
- Child support modifications;
- Action to deviate from the Mississippi child support guidelines; and
- Collection of past-due child support.
How Much Is Child Support in Mississippi?
Child support refers to money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in order to cover the expenses of a child or children. The non-custodial parent is the parent who spends less than half the time with the child, while the custodial parent is the parent who spends the majority of the time with the child.
It is assumed that the custodial parent spends more of their income on the child, since that parent is the one providing for the greater share of the day-to-day needs of the child. Each state has its own child support guidelines. In Mississippi, if the non-custodial parent has an annual income of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000, they will pay a certain percentage of their adjusted gross income, as mandated by the state guidelines. These child support guidelines are based on the number of children.
For example, the percentage of gross income that a non-custodial parent is expected to pay is:
- 14% for 1 child
- 20% for 2 children
- 22% for 3 children
- 24% for 4 children
- 26% for 5 or more children
A Court May Deviate From the Mississippi Child Support Guidelines
The Mississippi child support guidelines are presumed to be appropriate. In the majority of child support cases, the amount that will be awarded is consistent with the state’s overall guidelines. That being said, there are exceptions. State lawmakers recognize that the child support standards may not produce a fair and equitable result in every situation. For that reason, family law courts in Mississippi have the authority to deviate from the child support guidelines when determined to be necessary. The parent seeking a deviation from the standard guidelines has the burden of proof. If you have any questions about child support deviations, our Ridgeland family lawyers can help.
What Age Does Child Support Stop in Mississippi?
The obligation to pay child support ends when the child turns 21. Other instances in which child support payments may stop include if the child gets married, enlists in the military on a full-time basis, is emancipated, or is convicted of a felony and sentenced to incarceration for a minimum of two years.
The amount of child support that a payor is obligated to pay is not set in stone. In fact, a judge may change the amount of child support payments if the party requesting the change can show a “material change in circumstances” since the entry of the last child support order. Some common examples of these changes include increased needs for the child or the involuntary loss of a job or decreased income for the payor.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Child Support in Mississippi?
If a parent misses child support payments, Mississippi’s Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) has multiple ways of enforcing child support, such as:
- Sending withholding orders to employers, which results in the employer sending the paycheck straight to the DSCE;
- Intercepting state and federal tax returns;
- Collecting funds from unemployment checks;
- Alleging “contempt,” which requires a court appearance and, if charged, can result in jail time or entry of a judgment that can damage credit scores;
- Reporting parents with past-due child support accounts to consumer credit bureaus;
- Getting driver’s licenses, professional or occupational licenses, and any other state-issued licenses suspended;
- Reporting cases with more than $2,500 in past-due payments to the U.S. State Department, which will result in passports being denied, revoked, or restricted; and
- Asking a judge to order a parent to immediately find employment.
You Can Trust the Mississippi Child Support Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm
Parents have a legal duty to financially support their children. Child support issues may be complex, and having a skilled Ridgeland child support attorney on your side may make a critical difference in your case. At Hancock Law Firm, we have more than five decades of combined experience helping parents navigate the family law process in Mississippi, including child custody and child support cases. Among other things, our Ridgeland child support lawyers are prepared to:
- Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your case;
- Answer questions about the Mississippi child support laws;
- Gather the financial documents and records you need; and
- Take whatever action is needed to protect your family and your financial interests.
Child support cases are complicated. Even though there are overriding guidelines and procedures in place, every situation involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances. Our Ridgeland, MS child support attorneys are prepared to put forward the time, resources, and attention to the small details to get you the best outcome.
Call Our Ridgeland Child Support Lawyers for Immediate Legal Help
At Hancock Law Firm, our Mississippi child support attorneys have a passion for client service. We want to help you achieve the outcome that will be best for your child in the short term and the long term. If you have questions about child support, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a confidential initial consultation. With a law office in Ridgeland, MS, our child support and child custody attorneys proudly represent people throughout the surrounding communities, including in Madison, Jackson, Brandon, Annandale, Gluckstadt, Flowood, Clinton, and Western Hills.
To set up an appointment, call us at (601) 853-2223 or contact us online.
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