How Is Mississippi Child Support Determined?

Mississippi child support can get complicated quickly, and it’s a good idea to understand the basics of how it works. This post explains more about the process.

Ways to Think About Mississippi Child Support

It’s helpful to think of child support as two different financial obligations:

  1. Cash payments (the “norm” when it comes to child support) and
  2. Payment of designated expenses (such as schooling costs).

Cash payments are almost always calculated using a formula, while expenses are far more challenging to predict, with no set formula in place.

Mississippi Cash Payment Formula

The court determines a cash payment amount based on the number of children the primary spouse must support. The formula is calculated around the payor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), which is generally the same as post-tax income:

  • 1 child, 14 percent of the payor’s after-tax income
  • 2 children, 20 percent of the payor’s after-tax income
  • 3 children, 22 percent of the payor’s after-tax income
  • 4 or more children, 24 percent of the payor’s after-tax income

AGI will typically come from a number calculated after things like wages/self-income employment, salary, retirement payments, and other sources of income.

Medical Expenses and Health Insurance In Mississippi Child Support

A child support chancellor will inquire whether the child is currently covered on either parent’s health insurance policy. If so, the chancellor is likely to order that parent to continue the coverage. (The main exception is if similar coverage is available to the other parent at a significantly lower premium.)

There is no concrete rule as to which parents will be required to pay/reimburse for health insurance. There is only a somewhat general rule of thumb, stating that the parent with the most AGI will be the one more likely to be required to pay for health insurance.

In conjunction with ordering health insurance, the chancellor will probably also require one parent or both to pay any medical expenses not covered by the policy. There are many ways this can go, with the most common being a 50/50 split, but again, this depends on each parent’s AGI.

Other decisions can be incorporated into a judgment, including stipulations to prevent the custodial parent from accumulating years worth of medical bills, then burdening them all at once on the non-custodial parent.


Whether you are paying or receiving child support, there’s a lot to consider, and knowing the basics will make it all easier to understand. If you’re working through a Mississippi child support proceeding on either side and have any questions about your legal options, call the team at The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today at (601) 824-9797.