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Gulfport Family Law Blog

What are the maximum support percentages in a military divorce?

The military life is difficult and can be hard on families. For Mississippi residents who are in the military or are the spouse of a military member, divorce is, unfortunately, common. When there is a military divorce, there are the same concerns as a civilian divorce. Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, and child support are key family law matters to consider. Understanding various issues, such as the maximum percentage a military member can have deducted from his or her pay to pay this support, is imperative for the paying spouse and the receiving spouse.

For the paying spouse or parent, "the obligor," it will be 50% of the disposable income if it is proven that he or she provides greater than half the support for dependents apart from those in the ongoing case and there are no back payments - "arrearages" - owed. It will be 55% if there is proof that there is more than half the support to other dependents and there is an arrearage.

When might there be a deviation from the child support formula?

When a couple in Mississippi divorces and must deal with a child support determination, there are many factors that are considered when the amount is calculated. A child support formula is used in many cases. With that, the court will try to come to a fair amount for the custodial parent and the supporting parent. Still, not all cases are the same and those differences can make the situation more complex for everyone.

Understanding when there can be a deviation from the basic guidelines is an important part of achieving a fair resolution. Such factors as gross income, taxes, Social Security, retirement contributions and other children are considered with the child support amount. Another key is the number of children who will require support. When the court decides on the amount, it will check if deviations from the standard should be considered. There will be a deviation from the standard if the court finds that the guidelines are improper and unjust or if the non-custodial parent has an adjusted gross income that is less than $10,000 or surpasses $100,000.

How property is divided in Mississippi during divorce

Property division is one of the most common concerns couples have as they prepare to divorce. As a result, it is useful for them to be familiar with how property division is handled during divorce. It will help them prioritize their interests and be better prepared for what to expect from it. It can also help guide them to a property division settlement agreement both spouses can live with.

Mississippi follows equitable property division rules which means that the family law court will seek to divide the couple's property as fairly as possible between them during their divorce. Even though the property division process is focused on an equitable outcome, the process can be challenging and acrimonious as the divorcing couple works to divide the property and assets they have acquired during their marriage.

Don't let emotions prevent a beneficial child custody arrangement

Most parents know, nothing gets them more worked up than a situation that is unfavorable or bad for their child. This is because the parenting instinct kicks in and you want to do everything you can to ensure a favorable situation for your child. It's only normal to feel this way. However, when going through a child custody determination, emotions can run high for that and other reasons too.

While this may be true, emotions shouldn't be getting in the way of a beneficial child custody arrangement for your child. The first thing they will tell you about child custody decisions are that they are made in the best interests of the child. This means you, as their parent, should be acting on behalf of the best interests of your child. Generally, causing a situation to be more stressful by playing into your emotions isn't favorable for your child.

Which child rearing expenses does child support cover?

Many financial responsibilities come with raising a child. This remains even when the parents are not together. Whether you believe you will be the payer of child support or the parent receiving it - you likely have many questions about child support. Child support is the fiscal responsibility of the noncustodial parent to pay the custodial parent for child rearing expenses. As a parent, you likely already know that there are many expenses associated with raising a child. So when you're parenting from different households, how are child support amounts determined and what do they cover?

There is a list of items that child support amounts are to cover. Depending on the circumstances of the parents, some costs may be more prevalent or less pertinent to each family's situation. Here is a list of items that affect many child support amounts: basic necessities, medical care, uninsured medical expenses, education, childcare, transportation, extra-curricular, college expenses and more. This is not really a short list, but depending on each family's situation, some expenses may be important now but not others.

Social media and how it could impact your divorce

If you haven't been living under a rock for the last ten years, then you know how prevalent social media has become. People use social media to varying degrees, but it is common for those celebrating big life events, like marriages or children, to share the news in a big way on social media. However, getting a divorce is also big life news. How does social media reconcile with sharing or not sharing that news?

When people hype their wedding on social media, it's often well received by friends, followers and family. However, should you hype your divorce on social media in the same way? Choosing to be more private on the topic of divorce and not sharing on social media might be the right path. Sometimes, if going through a divorce, counsel will recommend that their clients keep the details of the divorce under wraps until everything is finalized.

Visitation may be a big step in your child custody process

Every family and child custody situation will have specificities and nuances that will make it a unique process for everyone. However, depending upon where you live, all family law issues will be subject to the laws and state statutes that govern the process. For some parents and children, visitation is a step in the child custody process.

Again, not all parents will be subject to visitation in their child custody agreement, but it is right for some families. Often, if a father just received paternal rights, the next step is to establish a visitation schedule. It's common for the visitation schedule to be a temporary step to establishing child custody rights. However, the basics of visitation must be met in order to move forward.

Military families need family law services too

Military families are just like civilian families in so many ways. However, they are different in that many families in the military make sacrifices that civilian families just never have to make. When a member of the family is in the military, they can be deployed and away from home for long stretches of time. That can put stress on the family unit.

Sometimes a marriage can disintegrate to the point where dissolving the marriage makes more sense than staying in it. Military families have more options in terms of their divorce. They can get married when one spouse is deployed overseas or out of state, they have a choice in where they file. Most civilians have to file in their state of residency. Child custody issues will need to be decided if the marriage yielded children.

Could a divorce actually make you a better parent?

When a person thinks about the type of parent they will be one day, many never imagine that they could be a single parent in the future. However, for some parents, this is what happens. However, it's not unheard of to think that a person can be just as good of a parent, if not better, when they become a single parent. This usually happens post-divorce.

For some parents, they find that after going through a divorce, they became a better parent. Why might that be? Well, a failing marriage can definitely bring out a person's worst qualities and cause higher stress levels, which can make a person uncharacteristically bad at many things, including parenting. However, when a person becomes autonomous, the decisions rely solely on one person, which allows for more control and, in a sense, less stress and uncertainty.

Why might you be interested in a prenuptial agreement?

Before getting married, there are many things that the engaged couple may have on their list to accomplish. Much of it will be related to the wedding day or the honeymoon, however, there is another topic that should be discussed and considered. That topic has to do with finances and prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement can be useful for many couples by sparking discussions about finances and determining what is expected of one another, even in terms of what to do if the marriage ends in divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be drafted to include many topics. One that can be very important to soon-to-be-married couples is the separation of marital property and separate property. These things can be designated prior to marriage to ensure that the assets are mutually exclusive. It doesn't mean that these assets would change classifications in a divorce, however, it would ensure that there is no change in the event of a divorce.