It goes without saying that, whether a child's parents are in a relationship, raising a child costs money. If a child's parents are divorced, in general, the noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. Mississippi has statutory guidelines that determine how much child support a parent will owe. However, per Mississippi Code, Section 43-19-103, there could be a deviation from the guidelines under certain circumstances.
For example, if there are extraordinary medical, psychological or dental expenses, this may be considered as may extraordinary educational expenses. If the custodial parent is receiving both child support and alimony, this may also be considered.
If the noncustodial parent spends a lot of time with the child, which in turn, reduces the amount of expenses the custodial parent needs to pay, this may be considered. If the noncustodial parent refuses to be an active participant in the child's life, this may also be considered, as may the custodial parent's homemaking services.
The child's age may also be considered, particularly, the fact that the older the child is, the greater his or her needs generally. Another consideration are special needs that used to have been accounted for within the family budget, the fulfillment of which would now cause the amount of support paid to go above the statutory guidelines.
In addition, the total amount of available assets of each parent and the child may be considered. If the custodial parent is incurring child care expenses, so he or she can seek or keep a job or because of a disability, this may be considered. Finally, if there are any other circumstances in which an adjustment to the statutory guidelines is needed, a fair result is reached, including existing expenses or debts that are both reasonable and necessary may be considered.
In the end, child support is meant to ensure that the child's financial needs are met in a way that allows the child to grow and thrive. It should not be a burden, but at the same time, it should be sufficient. If a parent feels the amount of child support they are paying is too high, or, conversely, if a parent feels the amount of child support they are receiving is too low, they may want to explore whether a modification to the support obligation is possible.