Child Support 101

If you are getting a divorce and have children, both parties are likely interested in the amount of child support that will be awarded. This particular aspect is always one of contention, and neither party is typically happy when they find out how much they will receive or pay.

Every state has guidelines that Chancellors follow when making their decision. In Mississippi Chancellors have statutory requirements that lay out basic amounts payable to the primary caregiver. The amounts below are based on the number of children the paying parent has and the percentage is based of the paying parents Adjusted Gross Income (amount you have after taxes have been deducted). Also, Mississippi requires payment until the age of 21, or until the child is emancipated.

  • 1 child gets 14%
  • 2 children get 20%
  • 3 children get 22%
  • 4 children get 24%
  • 5 or more children get 26%

Simply put if an individual makes $100,000 (after taxes) and only has one child the paying parent will be responsible for $14,000 of child support per year: roughly equaling $1,167 per month.

What is important to remember for both parties is that after a divorce you are not financially whole. The Chancellor does not use child support to make the custodial parent whole. Likewise, child support is not a punishment for the paying parent. The amount awarded is simply given to help offset the expenses the custodial parent will incur each month.

Lastly, what should be taken into consideration by both parties after the child support amount has been set is that children bring with them unexpected expenses (soccer, ballet, cheer, football, and field trips). How both parents handle the unexpected expenses will say more about them than they can ever imagine. Do not be the parent who complains about paying, or how much you receive, in front of your children.