Overdue Child Support Payments? How Back Child Support Works in Mississippi
In Mississippi, both parents are legally required to financially support their children. When parents are separated, courts often hold parents to this obligation by ordering the “noncustodial parent” (i.e. a parent who does not have physical and/or legal custody of the children) to pay child support to the “custodial parent”. In this instance the custodial parent (i.e. the parent who has physical and/or legal custody of the children) upholds their support obligation by directly paying for the child’s necessities. In joint custody cases involving two custodial parents the court will often still order one parent to pay child support to the other.
Unfortunately, not all parents who are ordered to pay child support keep up with this monthly obligation. Courts take the obligation to pay child support very seriously and parents who owe back child support may face fees, interests, and a world of legal trouble. If you are owed back child support in Mississippi, be aware that this debt is legally required to be paid in full, even if your child is fully grown. In order to discuss your legal rights and to pursue the back child support that you are owed, contact a local child support attorney without delay.
Collection and Enforcement
The Mississippi Department of Human Services’ website notes that there are several methods used to collect and enforce child support in Mississippi, including the following:
- Income Withholding: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have funds withheld from their wages.
- Unemployment Intercept: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have funds withheld from their unemployment benefits.
- Tax Offset Intercept: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have their federal or state tax refunds withheld.
- Contempt Action: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may be incarcerated.
- Credit Bureau Reporting: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support are reported to the Credit Bureau.
- Liens: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have liens placed on their assets (for example, liens can be placed against their personal injury or workers’ compensation claims).
- Accounts Frozen and Seized: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have their financial accounts frozen and seized.
- License Suspension: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have various government issued licenses suspected (for example, professional licenses, business licenses, alcoholic beverages licenses, driver’s licenses, and hunting/fishing licenses).
- Passport Revocation: Noncustodial parents who owe back child support may have their passport revoked, or their application for a passport denied.
What Should I Do if I Owe Back Child Support?
Parents who owe back child support should know that they may have legal options at their disposal to help get current on their debt. An article from moneycrashers.com notes that parents who are behind on their payments shold discuss pursuing the following options with an experienced family law attorney:
- Re-determining back child support,
- Equitable forgiveness,
- Suspension of interest,
- Petition for a reasonable payment schedule,
- Settlement with your ex, and
- Taking out a loan to pay off your back child support.
Need Legal Advice?
To discuss your legal rights or obligations concerning child support payments, or another family law issue, feel free to contact the law firm of Derek L. Hall, PLLC. We offer a free no obligation initial consultation during which we will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options with you. Schedule your initial consultation today by calling our Jackson office at (601) 202-2222.