Mississippi Child Support: What it Is, and What it is Not
Child Support must be paid as ordered. However, child support is just that - support. It is not a tool or weapon to be used by either party to control the other party.
What is Child SupportChild support is an amount of money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent or guardian for the expenses associated with the care and support of the minor child. The terms "care and support" encompasses shelter, food, clothing, medical care, school expenses, extracurricular activity expenses, etc., etc. Basically, the parent that is paying the child support is paying a court-ordered amount of money for their share of these basic living expenses of the child. Child support is a court-ordered obligation. Child support is relied upon by the custodial parent in most instances just to "make ends meet". Child support is paid to the custodial parent or guardian, unless otherwise redirected through the Department of Human Services. If you are ordered to pay child support, pay it as ordered. The failure to pay child support as ordered is an act of contempt, and the non-custodial parent who fails to pay as ordered can be incarcerated and ordered to pay the recipient's attorney's fees.
What Child Support is NotTo ensure clarity as to what child support IS, it is important to understand what child support IS NOT. Child support is: (1) not a condition that must be met in order for the non-custodial parent to see and visit with his/her children; (2) not, under normal circumstances, sufficient to cover the costs of all of the child's needs; (3) not normally tax deductible; (4) not meant to cover medical expenses of the child which are not covered by health insurance; (5) not a right won by the non-custodial parent to control how the custodial parent spends the money; (6) not leverage by either parent for every conflict or disagreement between the parents; (7) not terminable at the pleasure or whim of the non-custodial parent; (8) not to be paid to the child; (9) not normally terminable without a court order; (10) not assignable to a third party without a court order; (11) not subject to garnishment by a creditor of the custodial parent; (12) not modifiable without a court order; and (13) not many other things that warring parents often try to make it be. Following these two rules will keep you out of trouble 99% of the time: (1) If you owe child support, pay it according to the order on time when it's due. (2) If you receive child support, utilize it for the support of the child.