2001 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Kirby
Senate Bill 2275
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-19-101, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE GUIDELINES FOR AWARDING OR MODIFYING CHILD SUPPORT AND TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION TO REVIEW THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THESE GUIDELINES AND MAKE AN ANNUAL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-19-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-19-101. (1) The following child support award guidelines shall be a rebuttable presumption in all judicial or administrative proceedings regarding the awarding or modifying of child support awards in this state:
Number Of Children Percentage Of Adjusted Gross Income
Due Support That Should Be Awarded For Support
5 or more 29%
(2) The guidelines provided for in subsection (1) of this section apply unless the judicial or administrative body awarding or modifying the child support award makes a written finding or specific finding on the record that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case as determined under the criteria specified in Section 43-19-103.
(3) The amount of "adjusted gross income" as that term is used in subsection (1) of this section shall be calculated as follows:
(a) Determine gross income from all potential sources that may reasonably be expected to be available to the absent parent including, but not limited to, the following: wages and salary income; income from self employment; income from commissions; income from investments, including dividends, interest income and income on any trust account or property; absent parent's portion of any joint income of both parents; workers' compensation, disability, unemployment, annuity and retirement benefits, including an individual retirement account (IRA); any other payments made by any person, private entity, federal or state government or any unit of local government; alimony; any income earned from an interest in or from inherited property; any other form of earned income; and gross income shall exclude any monetary benefits derived from a second household, such as income of the absent parent's current spouse;
(b) Subtract the following legally mandated deductions:
(i) Federal, state and local taxes. Contributions to the payment of taxes over and beyond the actual liability for the taxable year shall not be considered a mandatory deduction;
(ii) Social security contributions;
(iii) Retirement and disability contributions except any voluntary retirement and disability contributions;
(c) If the absent parent is subject to an existing court order for another child or children, subtract the amount of that court-ordered support;
(d) If the absent parent is also the parent of another child or other children residing with him, then the court may subtract an amount that it deems appropriate to account for the needs of said child or children;
(e) Compute the total annual amount of adjusted gross income based on paragraphs (a) through (d), then divide this amount by twelve (12) to obtain the monthly amount of adjusted gross income.
Upon conclusion of the calculation of paragraphs (a) through (e), multiply the monthly amount of adjusted gross income by the appropriate percentage designated in subsection (1) to arrive at the amount of the monthly child support award.
(4) In cases in which the adjusted gross income as defined in this section is more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) or less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), the court shall make a written finding in the record as to whether or not the application of the guidelines established in this section is reasonable.
(5) Beginning July 1, 2001, the appropriateness of these child support guidelines shall be reviewed annually by a commission consisting of the following persons: (a) the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services; (b) the Director of the Child Support Unit of the Department of Human Services; (c) two (2) members of the Mississippi Bar Association who have at least six (6) years' experience and are presently practicing domestic relations cases, one (1) member to be appointed by the President of the Mississippi Bar Association from a metropolitan or large urban area and one (1) member to be appointed by the President of the Mississippi Bar Association from a less populated area of the state; (d) two (2) chancellors appointed by the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court; and (e) the Attorney General. The commission shall meet upon the call of the Attorney General and administrative support for the commission shall be provided by the Child Support Unit of the Department of Human Services. The commission shall review the appropriateness of these guidelines beginning July 1, 2001, and every year thereafter and report its findings to the Legislature no later than the first day of the regular legislative session of that year. The Legislature shall thereafter amend these guidelines when it finds that amendment is necessary to ensure that equitable support is being awarded in all cases involving the support of minor children.
(6) All orders involving support of minor children, as a matter of law, shall include reasonable medical support. Notice to the noncustodial parent's employer that medical support has been ordered shall be on a form as prescribed by the Department of Human Services.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2001.