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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.

There are criteria that the court will weigh when deciding on a deviation. The following will be part of the process: if the child has medical expenses that are considered extraordinary; if the child earns income on his or her own; if the payment of support includes spousal and child support; if the parents' income changes based on the seasons; how old the child is and that older children might have more needs; if the child has special needs; the parenting agreement; the assets the parents and child have; if child care is needed for employment or disability; or if there are other adjustments required to reach a fair resolution.

Child support is complicated and can lay the foundation for disagreements between the parents that make the circumstances more difficult. The vital part of a child support agreement is to serve the child's needs and if that means there should be a deviation from the guideline, a modification after the order is made or other considerations, learning more about the applicable child support laws may help.

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