How is Child Support Determined in Mississippi?

As a recent Clarion-Ledger story points out, Mississippi is one of only four states where one parent’s income is used to determine child support, according to a recently released study. This makes a big difference when it comes to the amount of child support that’s owed as there are more working mothers now than ever and a majority of states factor in both parents’ incomes when determining a support amount.

What Is a Custodial Parent?

Mississippi law takes into consideration the income of the custodial parent, meaning the one that has physical custody of the child most of the time. That’s typically the mother and does not take into account variations in either parent’s income or expenses (although a bill aiming to change that never gained momentum in the state legislature). The non-custodial parent is then responsible for providing support payments. 

The Results of the Study

Utah-based Custody x Change looked at a somewhat typical income and family situation and found that child support payments across the country varied greatly – and that child support can be minimal or quite significant based on the state law and income situations. 

How This Relates to Mississippi Child Support

In Mississippi, a chancery judge uses the noncustodial parent’s gross income, then makes some deductions to determine an adjusted gross income (AGI) and uses that number to figure out a support payment number. This number will take dividends, alimony, retirement benefits, disability, workers’ compensation, and other income into consideration, too. 

In Mississippi, the guideline for determining child support amounts is 14% of the noncustodial parent’s income for one child, 20% for two, 22% for three, 24% for four, and 26% for five or more. 


If your child support matter isn’t handled by a qualified spousal support attorney, you could be leaving money or other benefits on the table. The Law Offices of Rusty Williard is here to help work through your specific situation with the care and professionalism it deserves. Call us today at (601) 824-9797 to schedule a free consultation.