There are a few Bills kicking around the legislature that would impact child support in Mississippi.
Senate Bill 2338 seeks to broaden the income levels that the child support guidelines are applied. Currently, Child Support is a statutory amount (see Child Support blog) on income if your income is between $5k -$50k per year, adjusted gross income (AGI). This bill seeks to increase the income range to $10k-$100k per year, AGI.
As the law is currently, if you make $50k per year, AGI, support for one child would be at least $585. This figure is 14% of $50k and from there the Court could skew it upwards based on the needs of the child. So, your obligation would likely be in a broad range from $585 -$1,200 per month, give or take, depending on your income. This change would make the 14% apply directly to all sums over $50k up to $100k AGI. So, support, at the least, would be $1,166.00 per month. This likely would keep higher wage earners support in line with what they are already paying and is not a substantial change.
Senate Bill 2339 proposes a more significant change. This skews upward all statutory amounts, as follows;
- 1 Child from 14% to 17%
- 2 Children from 20% to 24%
- 3 Children from 22% to 26%
- 4 Children from 24% to 28%
- 5 or more Children from 26% to 30%
So in the same example from above the parent that owed $585 would now owe $710 in support, and if both Bills pass then the amount could be $1,416 per month if the paying parent made $100k AGI.
Mississippi has some of the lowest rates nationally for child support, but also extends the obligation to (21), which is longer than most other states, which end support at 18 or 19. SB 2339 also proposes to decrease the age for emancipation to 18, or 19, depending upon whether the child has finished high school. This is a significant change in the law and would only apply to post July 1, 2013, Orders and Judgments. Neither are law now and it does not appear there is a groundswell of support for either, those these changes would make Mississippi in line with most other states.
Stay tuned to see what the “Hissing Possums” pass.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that keeps abreast of the law and changes related thereto. He also just used abreast and thereto in a sentence and twice referenced to hissing possums, as Saturday Night Live mockingly referred to the Mississippi Legislature.
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.