Our Florence Child Support Lawyer Will Help Protect Your Family

While divorce signals the end of a marriage, it does not negate parental responsibilities. Regardless of the parents’ relationship with each other, they remain responsible for the financial well-being of their children. If you are in the process of separating from your spouse or significant other, you are probably stressed about your child support. Caring for your children is a priority; you want to ensure they have everything that they need.

When asked, most parents will agree that their children should be provided for financially. However, when it comes to establishing a plan, sometimes reaching an agreement with your ex can be difficult. This is where divorce attorneys can help.

During divorce and child support discussions, emotions run high. You need the support of a Florence child support attorney to guide the process and get the result you need.

Contact the family law attorneys at Ringer, Lingold & Spencer. We can help you manage the child support agreement process, providing you with necessary legal advice and presenting your concerns in a logical and calm manner. Reach out to us today at (601) 845-5050 to schedule a consultation.

Leverage the Experience of a Child Support Attorney in Florence

Ringer, Lingold & Spencer Has Your Best Interests at Heart

One of the most important steps for parents to take when they are divorcing or separating is to engage an experienced family lawyer. Unfortunately, determining child support can be a process fraught with disagreement. Parents are often on edge and have different ideas of what is appropriate and reasonable. Sometimes, the animosity they may feel for each other can cloud their judgment when it comes to financially providing for their children.

It is critical to create legally enforceable child support agreements. You must ensure that your children’s futures are protected. A skilled child support attorney can help you through this process, providing legal counsel, guidance, and a calming presence.

Our team is well-versed in the child support laws in Mississippi. We can assist you in understanding the calculations used to determine child support payments, draft and review documents, represent your interests in modifying previously executed agreements and help to legally enforce agreements that are not being followed.

When we represent you, we adopt your goals as our own. Protecting your children and ensuring they are provided for appropriately is our primary concern. Contact us today at (601) 845-5050 to learn more about our practice and how we can help you during this stressful time.

Leverage Our Experience and Approach

Well known for providing faithful service to our clients, our team understands the difference that quality child support legal services can make. As a parent, protecting your children is your most important job. And helping you to do that is ours.

We have an in-depth understanding of our state’s family laws and know how the local courts operate. Our partners have over 73 years of combined experience practicing in Mississippi and helping parents just like you. Our reputation for leveraging our knowledge and experience to benefit our clients is superb. We are well-known for being a calming force in an often emotional and tumultuous time. As an outsider in your relationships, we can provide independent and objective advice and help you to create a fair and appropriate child support plan.

When you work with our child support attorney in Florence, MS, you can rest assured that you will receive kind and compassionate counsel from professionals who will fight aggressively to protect the future of you and your children.

Our Child Support Lawyer Knows Mississippi Family Law

The Ins and Outs of Child Support

When relationships end, families will likely no longer live together. As one household transitions to two, expense structures change. Often one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other. According to Mississippi Court Records, “Child support is an order of periodic payment from a responsible parent to support a dependent child, i.e., physically or mentally incapable of self-support.”

Court-ordered child support should be used to pay for the costs related to the care of your child. In Mississippi, child support can be used for the following expenses:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Insurance (health, dental, and vision)
  • Medical Expenses (both routine and extraordinary, even if uninsured)
  • Education Expenses (school, supplies, tutors)
  • Child Care
  • Extracurricular Activities (dance, sports, music, art, etc.)
  • Travel.

In general, child support is determined during the separation or divorce process, and child custody plays a role. In Mississippi, the parent who receives child support payments is referred to as the custodial parent and the parent who is making the payments is called the non-custodial parent or the obligated spouse.

Determining Child Support in Mississippi

In our state, the law (Miss. Code Ann. § 43-19-101) holds parents responsible for providing for their children, even when they are divorced or separated. Child support payments are not assigned randomly. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

In Mississippi, the state has developed guidelines that courts tend to take into consideration when determining child support

Child support payments are based on adjusted gross income. To come to this figure you should total all income and then subtract taxes, social security, and other child support currently being paid. Once this number is calculated, the following percentages can be applied:

  • 14% for 1 child;
  • 20% for 2 children;
  • 22% for 3 children;
  • 24% for 4 children; and
  • 26% for 5 or more children.

These figures apply to those in specific income brackets. Should the parent’s income fall outside the determined range, the courts will review the percentages to determine if they are appropriate. Your Florence child support attorney can review these guidelines with you.

It is important to recognize that these figures are not set in stone. There are a host of factors that may alter them. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The age of the child
  • Parental assets
  • Spousal support
  • Parenting plans
  • Children’s special needs
  • Other factors (including college costs).

Finally, unlike in many other states, in Mississippi child support must be paid until the child reaches the age of 21.

How the Courts in Mississippi Enforce Child Support

Responsible parenting entails financially providing for your child’s needs. Unfortunately, not every parent is responsible. And, simply because child support has been ordered, this does not guarantee it will be received. Many parents find themselves in a position with an ex who simply refuses to pay their child support.

In Mississippi, enforcement falls under the responsibility of The Mississippi Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). Missed payments need to be reported to them.

To ensure that your children have the financial support they need, this department can withhold either income from the responsible party’s wages or the benefits from their unemployment. Additionally, they can intercept federal or state tax refunds.

Other things this division can do include filing a contempt action which could have the parent incarcerated, report nonpayment to credit bureaus, place liens on any personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, freeze and seize bank accounts, suspend driver’s licenses and, when the back child support exceeds $2,500, revoke passports and deny future applications.

Without a doubt, these allowable actions clearly indicate how seriously the state of Mississippi takes child welfare. Protecting their best interests is at the heart of the laws which govern child support. They are willing to take extraordinary measures to ensure compliance with child support agreements.

Child Support Issues Are Complicated

Our Child Support Lawyer in Florence Responds to Common Concerns

At Lingold, Ringer & Spencer we are well aware of the uniqueness of each and every family situation. The fact is, no two people are exactly alike; thus, it makes perfect sense that family dynamics differ appreciably as well.

Because we understand this and recognize that differences in income, expenses and lifestyles can be considerable, we know that child support agreements must also be unique and specific to each family. When we work with our clients, we focus on asking them questions and actively listening to their answers. The information we receive from speaking with them helps guide us in drafting appropriate agreements. Appearances can be deceiving and preconceived notions inaccurate and distracting. We make sure to focus on the facts.

Because this process is so individualized, it makes it impossible for us to provide general answers to many of the questions posed by those involved in the child support process. Our responses are, quite honestly, dependent upon the situation of the family in question. That said, child support can be confusing, and there are many more general questions that we can answer. We have shared some of these, and our responses, below.

  • Do I need to work with a child support attorney? My ex and I are on friendly terms and we agree on how the financial aspect of caring for our children should be handled.

    Yes! It is always wise to have representation from someone who has your best interests at heart. You want to make sure that what you agree upon is reasonable and fair. And while your relationship is amicable today, things may change. You need to protect your family’s future.

  • When can I stop paying child support?

    In Mississippi, you must pay support for your children until they reach the age of 21. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

    For example, if your child marries prior to turning 21, joins the armed services full-time or tragically is in jail (for a 2-year minimum) due to a felony conviction, you may not have to pay support. Additionally, if your child becomes emancipated you may no longer be responsible for financially supporting them. An experienced Mississippi child support lawyer can review your personal circumstance and provide more specific information.

  • My ex is delinquent on child support payments. Do I have to allow visitation?

    Yes, you do. Child support and visitation are two independent issues. You must allow your child to spend time with their parent, as stated in your parenting plan, regardless of the status of child support payments.

  • Can child support agreements be amended?

    Yes, the law recognizes that life evolves. Child support agreements can be amended and payment requirements altered. The individual asking for the modification must be able to prove a material change in circumstances. Examples of this includes changes in employment or income or to the needs of the child. It can include increases or decreases in expenses for things like education or healthcare.

  • Do I need to pay taxes on the child support that I receive?

    According to the IRS, you do not need to pay federal taxes on child support that you receive.

  • If I am the custodial parent and my spouse moves out of state, are they still responsible for child support?

    Yes, regardless of where they reside, parents are responsible for financially supporting their children.

If you are separating from your spouse or partner and trying to finalize physical and financial care for your minor children, you are likely under a great deal of stress. A lot is happening at once. It’s not surprising that the information shared above may not answer all of your questions.

We invite you to reach out to our child support attorney and schedule a consultation. During this meeting, we can learn more about your specific situation and provide more detailed information to you.

Ringer, Lingold & Spencer: Trustworthy Counsel You Can Count On

We are Dedicated to Providing Personalized Service

Our firm has a reputation for helping families. We are a fixture in the Florence community. We live here. Work here. Love here. As such, we are committed to providing our friends and neighbors with the top-notch legal guidance they deserve.

When we work with you, we don’t take anything for granted. Active and attentive listening is a hallmark of our service approach. The information you share about your relationship, your children, your financial situation, and your plans for the future are critical in drafting child support agreements.

Over the years, we have helped countless families and are ready to help you. We value relationships and appreciate how emotional separating from your partner can be. And, we know that child support discussions can be incredibly challenging.

We work closely with our clients to leverage our experience and knowledge, yet we are careful to always remember that their particular experience is unique and deserves our full attention.

Creating an Enforceable Child Support Agreement: Your First Step Toward a New Beginning

Child support agreements are the cornerstone on which you will build your family’s new life. They protect your children and provide for their well-being.

We believe in the importance of these agreements and are committed to providing compassionate service. Our team will take the time to understand all of the components of your case, help to gather evidence, and develop an argument to support the agreement we propose. Ringer, Lingold & Spencer. Mississippi Proud. Winning Results. We are here for you. Contact us today at (601) 845-5050.

Attorney Amanda Lingold Spencer

Amanda’s practice focuses on family law. She is warm and compassionate with clients and tough on opponents. Her legal work centers on child custody, divorce, adoption, contempt and modification actions. Amanda is adept at both negotiating and litigating, and her no-nonsense approach to legal matters means she’s honest, forthright and direct in assessing each legal case.
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