When two parents in Mississippi divorce, or if they were not married but are no longer in a relationship with one another, the court will need to determine how much child support to award the custodial parent. When determining how much child support to award, the judge needs to ascertain the parent's adjusted gross income. As a Gulfport resident might wonder, what is included as gross income for child support purposes?
Under Mississippi Code section 43-19-101, income includes, of course, a person's wages and salary. This includes whether the parent is employed by another company or whether the parent is self-employed. However, income can come from other sources as well. If a person earns a commission, this can be considered income. Profits made from investments, including interest and dividends are also income, as are any proceeds from a trust account.
Certain government benefits can also be considered income. This includes unemployment benefits, disability benefits and workers' compensation benefits. If a person is retired, his or her retirement benefits, including those from an Individual Retirement Account, will be considered income. Spousal support may also be considered income.
As this shows, a person can derive income from a variety of sources, and this is very important when it comes to calculating child support. A child should not be made to suffer or live a lesser quality of life, simply because his or her parents have divorced or are no longer in a relationship with one another. Ensuring a fair amount of child support is awarded is important in meeting the child's everyday expenses. This includes not just food, clothing and shelter, but also educational expenses, medical expenses and other expenses that come with a well-rounded childhood that will allow the child to grow and thrive in a positive manner.