Parents of a child might separate for different reasons. This leaves one parent responsible for the cost of raising it. Children benefit most when both parents have involvement in their care. Child support laws and services in Mississippi ensures that both parents have involvement in raising a child.
The Process For Child Support After Divorce
Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), is responsible for child support services administration in the state. Children’s support is automatically provided for parents who are on public assistance. However, custodial parents who seek child support but are not receiving public assistance should to complete and submit an application form. The parents must fill out the form with details about the child and information about the noncustodial parent. This includes details such as name, date, birth, address, telephone number, employer details, etc. You can also indicate the relationship between parents on the form. There is a $25 fee for each application.
Location services by the child support program can help parents who don’t know where the noncustodial parent are located. To locate the other parent, the program uses information provided by the parent who requested support. It is easier to locate the noncustodial parent if you provide more details. Because a child support case can’t move forward until one parent receives the notice, location services are vital.
After Confirmation of Location of the Noncustodial Parent
After the noncustodial parent is located and served notice, it may be necessary to establish legal paternity for the child. If the parents were married at the time the child was born, then the husband will be considered the legal father. Unmarried parents can still establish paternity by signing A Simple Acknowledgment Of Paternity (ASAP). The father or mother of the child signs a voluntary form to acknowledge that they are the legal guardians of the child. After the completion of the form, establishment of paternity is automatic. If the couple did not marry, the court will issue an order to establish paternity. This is done by DNA testing using swabs taken from the child and parents. These results can then be used to determine the paternity and relationship between the child’s parents and the child. For more details on establishing paternity, visit the Mississippi Human Service Department brochure.
How To Receive Child Support
Mississippi parents who receive child support can choose one of two options to receive their funds. The Way2Go card is the first. After the funds have been received by the noncustodial parent, the funds can be applied to this debit card. You can use the card to make cash withdrawals or purchase items. The card is free to use, but some banks may charge a surcharge for withdrawing cash from their ATMs. Card users can also check their balance online.
Direct deposit is another option. To set up direct deposits of child support funds, parents can complete a Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Once funds become available, this will allow for the money to be electronically transferred into their checking or savings account.
The Maximum Amount That Your Family Can Receive
There are some guidelines when establishing child support orders in Mississippi. It is important to consider the gross income of the noncustodial parent. This includes wages and commissions, dividends, alimony, etc. To arrive at an adjusted gross amount, the court makes certain deductions from the gross income of noncustodial parents. This amount helps determine the monthly child support payment.
For one child, the parent will need to pay 14% from their adjusted gross income each month as child support. It is 20% of the gross monthly income for two children. There will be subsequent increases of 2% for each child up to five. When determining child support, the judge may take into account seasonal variations in income and the independent income of the child. They might also consider extraordinary medical, educational or dental expenses. For more information on child support amounts and calculations, visit the Mississippi Human Service Department.
Enforcement of Child Support
Sometimes the noncustodial parent may not pay the child support payments which would need enforcement action in place. There are many ways to enforce child support orders, including:
- Income withholding is where the money is taken directly from the wages of the noncustodial parent.
- Interception of tax refunds
- Interception of unemployment benefits
- Reporting to credit bureaus
- Placement of liens on assets of the parent
- Passport denial or revocation
- Restriction of Financial accounts
- Suspension Licenses
- Contempt of court proceedings can lead to jail sentences.