How Child Support and Parenting Time are Calculated in Mississippi

A lot of divorces are settled before they go to trial. For many spouses, an uncontested divorce is a less stressful option to end their marriage. With this option, a couple agrees on all issues in their divorce including child custody, marital asset division, and others. Although the couple may need to go back and forth when addressing some issues, especially child custody, they can deal with their differences with an open mind if they are represented by a Madison, MS divorce attorney, 

If a couple agrees to divorce amicably, they don’t have to appear in court to settle their marital disputes. If they have kids, their divorce agreement will state who gets custody of the children and the parenting schedule they have agreed on. 

How Child Support is Calculated

When calculating child support in Mississippi, a judge considers the gross income of the non-custodial parent and makes deductions to come up with the adjusted gross income. The final figure is used to determine child support. The parent’s gross income includes wages, salary, alimony, dividends, interest, unemployment, retirement benefits, and other income. If a couple has one child, 14% of the income of the non-custodial parent is taken as child support. 

If the non-custodial parent wants to reserve or decrease the support amount, they have to give a good reason. Under the law, parties are not allowed to waive child support entirely because this benefit cannot be bargained. 

Calculating Parenting Time

Sometimes, courts may deviate from the child support guidelines, depending on a case if the visitation time of the non-custodial parent exceeds what’s customary. The parenting time number might directly impact child support. Often, lawyers and judges depend on parenting time estimates to save time and energy. But, to more accurately calculate parenting time, it is best to use the software. With software, there is no need to add up hours for an entire year, which tends to be prone to errors when alternating holidays, schedule changes, and summer breaks are included. Also, by using software, a parent’s schedule can be tweaked to determine the impact of the change on their total parenting time.  

How Childcare Expenses are Divided

A child’s daycare expenses, extracurricular costs, and medical insurance costs will add up. A judge awards child support to cover the essential needs of a child, including food, housing, and clothing. Both parents will have their share of the child’s daycare expenses and medical insurance, with consideration to the amount they make every month. The parents can divide extracurricular costs.