John Robert White, PA

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Your Trustworthy Attorneys for Child Related Law in Ridgeland, MS

Serving clients throughout Central Mississippi, our family law attorneys have experience in a wide range of child related law in Ridgeland, MS. Contact us today to learn more.

Attorney with Boy and Man, Child Related Law, Ridgeland, MS

Child Custody

There are two types of child custody under Mississippi law:

Physical Custody (The right to have the children reside with or be under the care of one of the parents.)
Legal Custody (The decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education, and welfare of the children.)

When determining how custody of children should be allocated, the most important consideration is the best interests and welfare of the children. The following additional factors are also considered:

  • Age, Health, Sex of the Child
  • Continuity of Care Prior to the Separation
  • Parenting Skills and Willingness and Capacity to Provide Primary Child Care
  • Employment of the Parent and Responsibilities of that Employment
  • Physical and Mental Health and Age of the Parents
  • Emotional Ties between the Parent and the Child
  • Moral Fitness of the Parents
  • The Home, School, and Community Record of the Child
  • The Preference of the Child at the Age Sufficient, by Law, to Express a Preference
  • Stability of Home and Employment of Each Parent
  • Other Factors Relevant to the Parent-Child Relationship

Child Visitation

When physical custody of children is awarded solely to one parent, the non-custodial parent usually is awarded rights of visitation. The extent of the visitation is generally governed by the closeness of the relationship of the children and the non-custodial parent and the closeness in proximity between the children and the non-custodial parent. The award of visitation to the non-custodial parent depends on the unique circumstances of each case and may be tailored to the specific facts of each case.

Child Support

When divorce is awarded (or even if the parties have never been married), the court may order child support for minors under the age of 21.

Amount of Child Support

The following child support guidelines are presumed to be appropriate. These guidelines apply unless the court makes a specific finding that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case.

Percentage of Adjusted Gross Income Due

  • 1 Child - 14%
  • 2 Children - 20%
  • 3 Children - 22%
  • 4 Children - 24%
  • 5 Children - 26%

Termination of Child Support

The duty to pay child support terminates upon the emancipation of the child. Unless otherwise provided for in the underlying child support judgment, emancipation shall occur when the child:

  • Attains the age of twenty-one (21) years, or
  • Marries, or
  • Joins the military and serves on a full-time basis, or
  • Is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to incarceration of two (2) or more years for committing such felony. The duty of support of a child who is incarcerated but not emancipated shall be suspended for the period of the child's incarceration.

Unless otherwise provided for in the underlying child support judgment, the court may determine that emancipation has occurred, and no other support obligation exists when the child:

  • Discontinues full-time enrollment in school having attained the age of eighteen (18) years, unless the child is disabled, or
  • Voluntarily moves from the home of the custodial parent or guardian, establishes independent living arrangements, obtains full-time employment and discontinues educational endeavors prior to attaining the age of twenty-one (21) years, or
  • Cohabits with another person without the approval of the parent obligated to pay support.

Emancipation does not terminate the obligation to pay arrearages existing as of the date of emancipation.


At JRW Law, we have experience handling both domestic and foreign adoptions. Please contact us concerning your adoption needs.