The Mississippi child support laws will helps to ensure that children receive the financial and emotional support they need from both of their parents. Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, all states were required to establish and operate a distinct child support program.
In Mississippi, this program is operated through the Division of Child Support Enforcement, within the State’s Department of Human Services.
The first step in applying for Mississippi child support laws is to call or visit your local county child support office.
The Mississippi Child Support Laws Enforcement Office can assist families in the location of non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing and enforcing child support orders, collecting and distributing child support payments, modifying child support orders, and working with child support programs in other states to facilitate child support collection.
Applying For Mississippi Child Support Laws
Families who are receiving either state or federal assistance through programs such as TANF, Medicaid, foster care, or food stamps, will automatically be referred to a child support office for child support services.
If you do not currently receive public assistance, you can apply for child support services through your local county office. You will be asked to pay a one-time application fee of $25.00. If you are only interested in locating your child’s non-custodial parent, you can obtain and complete an application for these services and you will not be charged any fees. The Mississippi child support laws enforcement office can also help parents establish the paternity of their child. There may be fees associated with this service.
If a child is born to unmarried parents, his or her paternity can be established through a number of methods. It is important to establish your child’s paternity so that the child will know his or her parents and their medical history, be eligible for death, disability and insurance benefits, and be able to receive child support services.
Legal Paternity can be established while the mother is still in the hospital when both parents sign an acknowledgement of paternity form and return it to the hospital staff. There is no fee when the acknowledgement of paternity form is filed at the hospital with the birth certificate.
If you are a man who wants to prove you are the father of a child or children, you can complete an application form through Mississippi child support law enforcement program and pay an application fee of $25.00. Contact the Division of Child Support Enforcement for information regarding paternity establishment after leaving the hospital.
If paternity cannot be established voluntarily, the mother can request assistance from the Division of Child Support Enforcement in establishing paternity and obtaining child support through the courts. The child support enforcement office will file a petition with the appropriate court to decide the matter.
If the mother begins receiving public assistance through TANF, food stamps, or Medicaid for the child, there will be no charge from the child support office for this service. If the mother does not receive public assistance, there is a $25.00 fee for assistance in establishing paternity.
If paternity is legally established voluntarily, the father’s name will automatically be added to the child’s birth certificate. However, if paternity is established through court proceedings, the court must order the father's name to be added to the birth certificate.
If there is any question regarding the paternity of a child, the Division of Child Support Enforcement can order the completion of genetic testing. Genetic testing involves a comparison of the alleged father's, the child's, and the mother's genetic markers. Genetic paternity tests are nearly 100 percent accurate. Contact your local child support office for more information on genetic testing to establish paternity.
Collecting Child Support Payments
The state of Mississippi’s Division of Child Support Enforcement can utilize several methods to collect and enforce child support payments.
These methods include:
Child Support Information For Employers
According to federal and Mississippi State laws enacted in 1996, (State Law 43-19-46 and 91-11-101), all employers must report basic information about newly hired employees to a designated state agency.
This new hire information can be matched with state and national data to help collect child support through income withholding. Employers that do not report this information are subject to penalty of $25.00 per case, or up to $500.00 if there is collusion between the employer and the non-custodial parent.
According to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the State of Mississippi has established a disbursement unit in order to collect and distribute child support payments made through income withholding. In Mississippi, this unit is called the Central Receipting and Disbursement Unit. All child support payment that are collected though income withholding should be directed to the Mississippi Department of Human Services and mailed to the following address:
P. O. Box 4301
Jackson, Mississippi 39296
Fax: (601) 713-3318
Each child support payment that is remitted should include the non-custodial parent's name, his or her social security number, the amount withheld, and the name of the employer.
You can reach the customer service Department by calling the number listed below
24 Hours a Day - 7 Days a Week
Child Support Automated Voice Response System
Other Links and Services on Mississippi Child Support Laws