Mississippi Child Support & Parenting Time Calculations

Mississippi child support can be affected by parenting time totals

In Mississippi, the amount of child support is figured based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's income, and parenting time doesn't factor into the formula.

Mississippi courts may consider deviating from the strict child support guidelines on a case-by-case basis when the non-residential parent's visitation time greatly exceeds what is considered customary. Accurate parenting time numbers might directly affect your child support, whether you pay or receive.

Most parenting time totals are estimates (and thus incorrect)

Mississippi attorneys and judges often rely on parenting time estimates, even if they are incorrect, because counting parenting time is tedious and time consuming. Divorcing parents often rely on these estimates as well.

Using estimates means your parenting time totals are wrong when compared to your actual parenting time schedule. This means your child support amount will not be fair or exact.

How to calculate parenting time instead of relying on estimates

To calculate parenting time, the easiest and most accurate way is to use software. Without software, you're forced to add up hours for a whole year, which is error-prone when you include alternating holidays, summer break, and any changes to the schedule throughout the year.

The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Parenting Time Now

Using software, you can also tweak your schedule to see how even little changes affect your total parenting time, and you can see how your parenting time changes each year due to holidays and other events.

You can also track what actually happens, and show how much parenting time you've actually received for any period of time. Historical information is a powerful tool when you request a child support modification or when you request more parenting time.

Fast facts about Mississippi child support

In any divorce, Mississippi family courts award custody of the children to one or both parents. Custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. In many states, physical custody has an impact on the amount of child support, but not in Mississippi.

In a Mississippi physical custody case, the family court will designate a primary physical custodian.  The residential parent hosts the children the majority of the time. The non-residential parent has visitation or parenting time.

Mississippi family courts must comply with the child support guidelines as specified in the statute, but a court has the right to deviate. According to Section 43-19-101, a deviation from the formula may be permitted if “The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the non-custodial parent spends a great deal of time with the children thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the custodial parent...”

Mississippi child support formula and parenting time totals

In Mississippi, a basic child support formula is used to determine child support amounts. In Mississippi, the child support formula is the same for sole and joint physical custody. Unlike many other states, Mississippi gives no automatic parenting time credit that can reduce your child support amount.

In the basic formula, the non-residential parent's gross income is determined and then allowable deductions are made. Deductions can include health insurance obligations for the children or day care expenses, for example. The net income is then used in the child support formula.

The child support formula requires the non-residential parent's net income combined with the number of children to support:  

  • 1 child = 14% of net income
  • 2 children = 20% of net income
  • 3 children = 22% of net income
  • 4 children = 24% of net income
  • 5 children = 26% of net income

In Mississippi, the non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.

Mississippi family courts decline to put a dollar amount on non-residential parent spending time with their children, and currently do not tie compensation or credits to figuring child support amounts.

Your best chance for reduced child support is to show the court that your parenting time will greatly exceed what is standard to approve. More parenting time may mean abatement in child support. Mississippi family courts make these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Why accurate parenting time percentages are important in Mississippi

Accurate parenting time percentages are important because Mississippi law allows for exceptions to be made in the child support amount if you can show you qualify for special consideration.

The law states that the court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines when it finds extraordinary time spent with the non-custodial parent, or shared or joint custody arrangements. While this scenario is rare, at least you can present the court with accurate numbers.

Examples of a standard visitation schedule in Mississippi

Accurate parenting time percentages are important because Mississippi law allows for exceptions to be made in the child support amount if you can show you qualify for special consideration.

The law states that the court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines when it finds extraordinary time spent with the non-custodial parent, or shared or joint custody arrangements. While this scenario is rare, at least you can present the court with accurate numbers.

Examples of Mississippi child support

Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert's net income is $4,000 per month, while Mary's net income is $2,400 per month. They have two children.

See how the child support amounts change in these examples:

  • Scenario #1: Robert is the non-residential parent. He pays $800 in child support to Mary, based on his net income times 20 percent.
  • Scenario #2: Mary is the non-residential parent. She pays $480 in child support to Robert based on her net income times 20 percent.
  • Scenario #3: If there were three children and Robert is the non-residential parent, he pays $880 in child support to Mary, based on 22 percent of his net income.

In Mississippi, the basic child support formula results in the non-residential parent paying child support to the residential parent.

Other factors in the Mississippi child support formula

Mississippi's child support formula uses the following information to calculate your monthly amounts for joint custody child support:

  • The non-residential parent's monthly gross income
  • The number of children under the age of 21, unless a child is married or otherwise emancipated
  • The cost of any work-related child care
  • The cost of health insurance premiums for the children
  • A pre-existing child support or alimony obligation by either parent
Parenting time does not figure into the child support formula. However, you could submit your total parenting time to the court to show whether it is substantially in excess of the standard visitations in Mississippi.
How accurate child support helps your children

Paying accurate child support helps your children in several ways, primarily because it ensures their financial needs are met.

Here are some other reasons why accurate overnight numbers help you, the other parent and your children:

  • It provides a fair way to determine your child support amounts
  • It guarantees the child support amount reflects each parent's responsibilities
  • It allows for modifications if your actual time and scheduled time are different
  • It is compliant with Mississippi law

Your financial obligations to your children don't end with divorce, so whether you are paying or receiving child support, you owe it to your children to pay or receive the proper amount.

Top 5 things to remember about Mississippi child support and parenting time

To ensure you are paying or receiving the right amount of child support in Mississippi, remember these 5 things:

  1. State-specific child support guidelines are found in the Mississippi Code Annotated; Section 93, Chapters 5-23 and 11-65 and Section 99, Chapter 19-101.
  2. Mississippi figures child support amounts based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's net income.
  3. The percentage used in the child support formula is found in the Mississippi child support guidelines and is based on the number of children that qualify. One child means 20 percent, two children mean 20 percent, three children means 22 percent, four children means 24 percent and five children means 26 percent.
  4. In Mississippi, the non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.
  5. Mississippi family courts can order a deviation from the standard child support formula if it determines that the non-residential parent's visitation greatly exceeds what is standard for the state.

Use the Custody X Change software to accurately calculate your total parenting time to present to an Mississippi family court.


The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Time

The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Parenting Time Now