Tag Archives: support

But, I Pay Child Support!?!

Child Support.  The two most despised words in all of child custody related matters. Ok, maybe not the most despised, but it leads to more litigation than any other single issue.
Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net

I have previously written on Child Support in Mississippi.  Today’s post is about what Child Support is really for and what it is not.

I have lost count of the times that a parent paying child support demanded to know how the monies are being spent and wanting to know just what the other parent is spending “their” money on.  I have also heard when the receiving parent has requested additional monies the response is,”I paid my child support, you figure it out.”

Child Support is intended to go towards the child’s needs. Food, shelter, clothing and necessities. However, the statutory sums rarely equate to an amount sufficient for all of that.

Mississippi has some of the lowest amounts, percentage wise, in the Country. 14% for one child equals between 150-585 per month. By the time any rent or a mortgage is paid, it’s gone.

Child support may be used to pay the rent, groceries, gas, clothing, shoes, school expenses, medical, dental, utilities, activities, etc. It’s not limited to solely purchases just for the child and it’s not improper for the parent to spend it as they see fit, so long as it’s a benefit for the child.

The paying parent may well gripe. And, it may be a lot of money to you, but it’s usually not enough to pay for a child’s true expenses.


How to be a TERRIBLE Person. (11 specific ways you can be mean & hateful.)

In my profession I get to see a lot of what not to do almost, every day; from videos, texts, and emails to actions and sometimes inaction.

So, I have compiled a list of what terrible people do.  If you want to be terrible do these things, in no particular order.

  • Curse and scream at your spouse, as loud as you can, as often as you can.
  • Curse and scream at your children.
  • Make false abuse claims.
  • Lie about the false abuse claims even when it’s clear they are false.
  • Bad-mouth your child’s other parent to the child.  (Hey, it’s the truth, right!)
  • Interfere with their time with the child.  Just do it.  Sure it hurts your child too, that’s what makes it even more terrible.
  • Abuse your spouse or child. (Any form – all are terrible, some more-so than others.)
  • Refuse to support your family.
  • File suit when your ex paid 5 days late, even though they told you. It’s the principal, right?
  • Threaten to make public private images. (and mean it when you say it, at least in the moment.)
  • Refuse Christmas visitation.  Just because.

There you have it, 11 mean, hate-filled things that you can do to be terrible.

Oh, and if you don’t want to be terrible don’t do these things.” – Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and tries not to do terrible things or give terrible advice.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms


Change, Change, Change…Change of Child Support

I have previously blogged on the Mississippi Legislature, a.k.a. “the hissing possums” thanks to SNL, possibly taking action on proposed Child Support changes.  One such change was passed and will be in effect as of July 2013.

Senate Bill 2338 sought to increase the income levels that the child support guidelines are applied.  Child Support is a statutory amount on income. (Child Support, What you Owe).  If your income was between $5k -$50k per year, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), the guidelines applied and the Court computed what you owed.  The new law increased the income range to $10k-$100k per year, AGI, for the Court to base Child Support. MCA 43-19-101(e)

Currently, if you make $50k per year support for one child would be around $585.  This figure is 14% of $50k.  From there the Court could skew it upwards based on the needs of the child or if you made higher income, if appropriate.  So, your obligation could range from $585 -$1,200 per month, give or take, depending on your AGI income.  The law change makes the 14% apply directly to all sums over $50k up to $100k.  So, support on $100k AGI would be $1,166.00 per month.  As stated prior, this change likely just keeps higher wage-earner’s support in line with what they are already paying and is not a substantial change, as the Court could always deviate upward, or downward, if warranted.

I think the “possums” got it right and this change, while in practical effect is not too significant, does address in some respects the low rates nationally that MS is known for.  H/T to Judge Primeaux’s blog, 12th Chancery Court District of MS.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and reminds you to pay your child support and pay it often.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms


Changing your Court Papers; Custody vs. Visitation

Modification is the process that is used to change a Court Order.  We previously discussed how NOT to modify your papers here.

Below are the basics for the right way to modify your current Court Order.  Child Custody, Visitation and Child Support are always modifiable. However, each has a separate standard.  Each require that you prove something different…

1.  Child Custody is the most difficult to modify. The non-custodial parent, must demonstrate 1) a material change in circumstances,  2) adverse to the child, 3) in the home of the custodial parent.  In English, dad has to show that there has been a big change, harmful to the child and it was mom’s fault.  It does not matter how much better dad is doing.  It does not matter that he has a new job, making good money, and has remarried Mary Poppins.  The Standard concerns what is going on in mom’s house.

A material change could be bad grades, serious behavior problems, serious problems with mom or serious problem with mom’s new beau. Now, once you show the bad change, harmful to the child, and it’s mom’s fault, dad wins, right? No. That provides the Court the authority to go back through the Albright factors for the Court to determine which parent is in the best interest of the child.

2.  Child Support is modifiable upon a showing of  1) a material change in circumstances, unanticipated at the time of the Order and that either the 2) paying parent’s income has increased (or a non-voluntary decrease) in a meaningful capacity or that the 3) child’s reasonable needs and expenses have increased, or both an increase in income and needs.  It should be noted that Child Support is statutory, as noted here, and the paying parent’s responsibility to pay does not continue to increase, just because his/her income does.

3.   Visitation has the lowest standard to modify.  In order to modify visitation all one needs to do is demonstrate that the current schedule is not working.  This can be shown by showing that a party moved over several hours away making every other weekend unworkable or by showing that due to the child’s schedule, or a parent’s work schedule the visitation plan is not working.  This one is easier to pursue, but the outcome is not always predictable, so have a plan for what schedule will work if you are seeking to change it because of distance or a work schedule issue.

*Certain other aspects of Order’s can/may be modifiable as well; ie; alimony, other child benefits.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Child Custody Attorney and reminds you to follow your papers.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms