Stacey Golmon
Stacey Golmon

By Stacey Golmon

What if childcare expenses for my minor children eat up most, if not the entire amount of my child support payments from my ex-spouse? Do the statutory child support guidelines factor in paying for the daycare expenses of the minor children?

As a family lawyer, I am often presented with primary physical custodians who are receiving the statutory required child support payments from the noncustodial parent, but that amount, which is supposed to be for the “basic” needs of the children, is eaten up almost completely when the parent pays the monthly daycare bill.

Child support guidelines in Mississippi are presumptively correct and are found in Miss. Code Annotated 43-19-101. These guidelines require a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income be paid to the custodial parent to support a certain number of children. However, there are ways a chancellor may deviate, either up or down, from those guidelines if he determines that the application of the guidelines is inappropriate. Those deviation criteria are found in Miss. Code Annotated 43-19-103.

One deviation criteria given under the statute involves the payment of daycare expenses. Under 43-19-103 (I) (Supp. 2012), “Payment by the obligee of child care expenses in order that the obligee may seek or retain employment…” is one such factor that the chancellor can use to increase the child support payment due a custodial parent.

Realistically, sometimes it takes just about all of a custodial parent’s income just to pay for daycare and groceries. The courts do have a way to require the noncustodial parent to step up and bear some of these costs.

So, yes, there is statutory authority to seek more child support than the statutory guidelines provide for if the custodial parent can show the payment of the statutory guideline would either not even pay for daycare or leave very little to buy the necessities, like rent and food, and that the noncustodial parent has some available income to share in this necessary cost of parenting.

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