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The basics of child support modification in Mississippi

When a Mississippi couple with children divorces or separates, one of the parents often will pay child support to the other. In setting the amount to be paid, the court will take into account each parent's income, as well as the financial needs of the children. Once this amount is set, the paying spouse is to make payments to the recipient spouse for as long as legally necessary.

But, what happens if life events intervene and the amount paid is no longer feasible? For example, what if the paying spouse loses their job or experiences a reduction in income? What happens if their income increases and they could pay more? What if the recipient spouse has a change in income that changes the amount of child support they arguably need? What if the needs of the children change?

Whenever there is a significant change in circumstances, a parent can petition to change the amount of child support due. This change is called a child support modification. The modification petition should be made with the court that issued the original child support order. If the modification is approved, the child support payments change going forward.

Parents should remember that they need to prove that the significant change in circumstances occurred. Parents should document the changes they plan to use as the basis of the modification. Parents should also remember that until the modification is granted, they need to pay the amounts currently owed. Modifications do not change any child support amounts in arrears. Delinquent payments are still owed and may subject the owing parent to penalties.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed on May 3, 2018

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