What are the penalties for unpaid child support in Mississippi?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2020 | Child Support |

Child support orders in Mississippi are legally binding. The state uses a simple percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income and requires child support until the child reaches age 18. When support goes unpaid, the parent who does not pay will be subject to interest and other legal consequences.

Review the state guidelines for child support enforcement.

License suspension program

If a parent is at least two months behind on child support, Mississippi will begin the process of suspending his or her:

  • Fishing license
  • Hunting license
  • Driver’s license
  • Alcohol beverage service license
  • Business license
  • State professional or occupational license

The Department of Human Services finds the licenses of parents who have unpaid child support and notifies them of the pending suspension by mail. They have 90 days to enter a court-approved payment plan or pay off the past-due amount before facing suspension.

Collection activities

Mississippi will take these actions to collect past-due child support:

  • Legally ordering the parent to find a job if he or she does not have gainful employment
  • Requesting revocation of the parent’s passport from the State Department for arrears exceeding $2,500
  • Reporting past-due child support to the credit bureaus
  • Seizing unemployment benefit payments as well as federal and state tax refunds

In cases involving extensive past-due support, the judge can find the parent in contempt. He or she may even order jail time. Mississippi DHS will also locate noncustodial parents who owe support and have moved without a forwarding address. They can order DNA testing to establish legal paternity if applicable. Parents can challenge the support amount if they cannot afford to pay because of extenuating circumstances.

Child support orders in Mississippi are legally binding. The state uses a simple percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income and requires child support until the child reaches age 18. When support goes unpaid, the parent who does not pay will be subject to interest and other legal consequences.

Review the state guidelines for child support enforcement.

License suspension program

If a parent is at least two months behind on child support, Mississippi will begin the process of suspending his or her:

  • Fishing license
  • Hunting license
  • Driver’s license
  • Alcohol beverage service license
  • Business license
  • State professional or occupational license

The Department of Human Services finds the licenses of parents who have unpaid child support and notifies them of the pending suspension by mail. They have 90 days to enter a court-approved payment plan or pay off the past-due amount before facing suspension.

Collection activities

Mississippi will take these actions to collect past-due child support:

  • Legally ordering the parent to find a job if he or she does not have gainful employment
  • Requesting revocation of the parent’s passport from the State Department for arrears exceeding $2,500
  • Reporting past-due child support to the credit bureaus
  • Seizing unemployment benefit payments as well as federal and state tax refunds

In cases involving extensive past-due support, the judge can find the parent in contempt. He or she may even order jail time. Mississippi DHS will also locate noncustodial parents who owe support and have moved without a forwarding address. They can order DNA testing to establish legal paternity if applicable. Parents can challenge the support amount if they cannot afford to pay because of extenuating circumstances.