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Mississippi State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
There are currently 25 district offices.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
Yes
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
Miss. Code Ann. Section 43-19-35
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A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
Yes, but the MS Bar Ethics Opinion said we should ask for an Attorney General's Opinion and the Attorney General's Opinion said we should ask for an Ethics Opinion.
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
Not applicable. See response to A2.2.

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
93-25-101 et. al, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended.
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B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
Three.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
None.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
Mississippi will only enforce spousal support orders when ordered in conjunction with child support.
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
Yes
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
Mississippi offers full services to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
Yes
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
21 years of age.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
Sections 93-5-23 & 93-11-65
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D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
21 years of age.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
No
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
Not applicable.
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
A child shall be emancipated by operation of law if the child: marries; joins the military and serves on a full-time basis; or is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to incarceration of two or more years for committing such felony. A child may be emancipated by the court if the child: discontinues full-time enrollment in school having attained the age of 18 (unless disabled); voluntarily establishes independent living arrangements, obtains full-time employment, and discontinues educational endeavors; or cohabits with another person without the approval of the parent obligated to pay support.
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
If the parties agree, support may continue beyond the age of majority and some courts may order this if the child is disabled.
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
No
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
However, a reduction in child support upon emancipation of one of the children can be provided by the language of the underlying support judgment.
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
Yes, if paternity and support were previously established and the obligor is in arrears, we will allow an application and open an arrears-only case based upon the custodian's affidavit regarding arrearage.
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
Not applicable

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
General seven year statute, which begins to run when the child reaches the age of majority. However, if the support is based upon an out-of-state judgment and the obligor lives in Mississippi, the statute of limitations is three years.
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E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
21 years of age. Section 93-9-9.
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E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
No
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
An action which adjudicates the arrearage can extend period for collection of past due arrears. Also, a Notice of Renewal may be filed with the court and sent to the obligor pursuant to section 15-1-43.
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F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Percentage income model that uses adjusted gross income. Percentage determined by number of children.
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F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
No
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Not applicable.
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F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
No
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Not applicable.
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
No
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.

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F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
No
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
The state will enforce orders if the there is a cash medical support order for an amount certain or there is an existing adjudication of the amount owed.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
Yes
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
None.
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
Court costs, genetic testing fees, application fees, and attorney fees are charged to the obligor if ordered by the court.
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
Yes
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
If requested, we will ask it to be ordered.
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
Sections 93-11-67 and 93-25-201
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F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
If ordered in conjunction with a child support order, we will enforce the spousal support order, Mississippi will not establish or modify spousal support.
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No.
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
None.
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
In 2008, the annual fee was collected from the non-custodial parent.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
No
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
No
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
Yes
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
No
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
October 1, 2009
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
No
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
Not applicable.
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
Yes
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
Assignments executed prior to October 1, 1997 and assignments executed from October 1, 1997 to September 30, 2009 (or September 30, 2008) for pre-assistance arrearage.
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
Both were discontinued November 1, 2009.
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
PRWORA distribution ordering rules
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
If it is a IV-D order that requires payments to be made to MDHS, then we administratively redirect payments to the new custodian with no court action. If it is a non-IV-D order or privately obtained order that requires payments to be made to the then custodian, then MDHS files a Notice of Redirection with the court and likewise notifies the non-custodial parent to make payments to MDHS which then redirects payments to the new custodian. See Miss. Code 43-19-35(2)
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F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
If it is a IV-D order that requires payments to be made to MDHS, then we administratively redirect payments to the new custodian with no court action. If it is a non-IV-D order or privately obtained order that requires payments to be made to the then custodian, then MDHS files a Notice of Redirection with the court and likewise notifies the non-custodial parent to make payments to MDHS which then redirects payments to the new custodian. See Miss. Code 43-19-35(2)
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F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
If it is a IV-D order that requires payments to be made to MDHS, then we administratively redirect payments to the new custodian with no court action. If it is a non-IV-D order or privately obtained order that requires payments to be made to the then custodian, then MDHS files a Notice of Redirection with the court and likewise notifies the non-custodial parent to make payments to MDHS which then redirects payments to the new custodian. See Miss. Code 43-19-35(2)
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F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
N/A
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
No
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
N/A
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
SSI, Longshoreman
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G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
No
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
Not applicable.
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
$2.00
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G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
The next payment of income following 14 days of receipt of income withholding order.
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Seven days.
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
Contempt action.
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
The employer is responsible for the child support payments not withheld plus a fine of $500.00 or in cases of collusion, $1000.00.
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G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
No
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
Direct income withholding form unemployment insurance benefits is not allowed under Mississippi law. A UIFSA packet must be submitted which request withholding from unemployment insurance benefits.
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G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
It is a purely automated process. A report is received from the MS Unemployment Security Commission which is interfaced with the IV-D computer system to match non-custodial parents. Upon a match, the support order is activated and administrative fees are removed. A notice is then sent to the Unemployment Commission. Upon receipt, the commission sends a portion of the NCP's unemployment benefits to be applied to the child support obligation.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
No
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
None.
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
In chancery or county court.
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
The available amount is normally prorated across orders.
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
No
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
MCA 93-11-111
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G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
mandatory retirement and prior support judgments
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
There is no set time for the notice. See OMB form withholding order along with Miss. Code 93-11-111(6) that require prompt notice when the employee is no longer receiving income from the employer.
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G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
See Miss. Code 93-11-111(6).
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
Yes, our withholding orders typically have, in addition to a current support obligation and arrearage obligation, a fees obligation which the employer must withhold and remit to MDHS as reimbursement for such items as court fees, genetic testing fees, service of process fees, etc. See Miss. Code 93-11-103(6).
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes.
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G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Yes, but only the employer
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G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Child Support and then medical support unless the order specifies differently
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G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
Current support is paid first. In general, payment in excess of current support are allocated on a pro-rata share based upon the competing arrears balances.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
N/A
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G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
The State does not petition the court for custody and visitation, but some courts will order custody and visitation anyway.
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
98% or greater creates a rebuttable presumption of paternity.
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H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.

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H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
01/01/1992
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
Yes
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
There is an Attorney General Opinion that allows us to use acknowledgements made before 1992 as conclusive now.
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H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
In Chancery Court.
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H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
Yes
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
Note: Unless the signor rescinds the birth certificate acknowledgement within one year of signing it. After the one year time period runs, the father may only disestablish paternity from a birth certificate acknowledgement if he can prove fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact."
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H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
See Miss. Code 93-9-9(4).
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
No
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
Not applicable.
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
No
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
None
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H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
The Mississippi State Department of Health Vital Records Office charges fees for certified copies of birth certificates. As for fees for other documents or queries, please contact them for assistance.
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H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
No
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
Not applicable
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
01/01/1956
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
Mississippi recognized common-law marriages from 1906 to 1956. It was defined as an agreement to be married combined with cohabitation, or "public assumption by a man and a woman of the marital relation, and dwelling together as such, thereby holding themselves out to the public as being man and wife." Such a marriage had to be proved by the person alleging its existence.
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H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
In interstate cases, an out-of-state witness may testify by telephone, audiovisual, or other electronic means. See Miss Code 93-25-316(f). In intrastate cases, the Mississippi Rules of Evidence and caselaw would control, and trial court judges have considerable discretion in this area.
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
For paternity and support matters, see Miss. Code 93-25-201
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H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
Yes
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
If the costs are included in the obligation in another state's order, we collect as part of the registration and enforcement process.
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
If the parents are not married, yes, an acknowledgment of paternity is required. If the parents are married, no documents are required.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
One set of documents.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Judicial.
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
Not applicable.
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
All primary actions.
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.

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I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
No one.
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I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
(a) Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational or dental expenses. (b) Independent income of the child. (c) The payment of both child support and spousal support to the obligee. (d) Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses. (e) The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children. (f) Special needs that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the proposed guidelines. (g) The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the noncustodial parent spends a great deal of time with the children thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the custodial parent, or the refusal of the noncustodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child, or giving due consideration to the custodial parent's homemaking services. (h) Total available assets of the obligee, obligor and the child. (i) Payment by the obligee of child care expenses in order that the obligee may seek or retain employment, or because of the disability of the obligee. (j) Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt.
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I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
Yes
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
Up to one year prior to the date of the filing of the action.
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
Proof of paternity.
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I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
Yes
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
One year prior to the date of the filing of the action.
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
Our state is primarily judicial
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I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
43-19-31
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I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
Yes.
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I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
No.
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I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
No.
I10. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
No.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
Modification.
I12. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
No.
I13. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
No.
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
The state uses local sheriff's offices, constables, and private process servers. Service of process is perfected when: 1) a process server personally delivers the summons and complaint/petition to the defendant, or 2) a process server delivers the summons and complaint to a family member above the age of sixteen at the defendant's residence and ten day elapses after a copy of the summons and complaint/petition is mailed to the defendant's residential address.
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
N/A
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
Mississippi uses a percent of income model to determine child support, but the courts have discretion to deviate from the guidelines under the following circumstances: 1) extraordinary medical, psychological, educational or dental expenses; 2) independent income of the child; 3) the payment of both child support and spousal support to the obligee; 4) seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses; 5) the age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children; 6) special needs that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the proposed guidelines; 7) the particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the noncustodial parent spends a great deal of time with the children thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the custodial parent, or the refusal of the noncustodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child, or giving due consideration to the custodial parent's homemaking services; 8) total available assets of the obligee, obligor and the child; 9) payment by the obligee of child care expenses in order that the obligee may seek or retain employment, or because of the disability of the obligee; 10) any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
Miss. Code Ann. Sections 43-19-101 and 43-19-103
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I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
No
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
N/A

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Both. The initial procedure is administrative, but the administrative action can be challenged via a judicial process.
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
Judgment
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J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
State, County, Local Circuit Clerk's Office.
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
Yes
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
Varies by court, but less than $10.
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Judicial only for Real Property
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both. MDHS initiates the process administratively, and the law provides the non-custodial parent a judicial method to contest.
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
When case becomes delinquent.
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No.
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J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
Yes
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
The state.
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
We send notice to the non-custodial parent no later than 5 days from the date notice is sent to the financial institution.
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
The law only requires that the non-custodial parent be delinquent, but it is MDHS policy to limit such actions to cases with arrears $100 or greater and 60 days or more past due.
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
The law only requires that the non-custodial parent be delinquent, but it is MDHS policy to limit such actions to cases with arrears $1000 or greater and 60 days or more past due.
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J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
No.
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
Not applicable.
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
No
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
Not applicable
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
Not applicable.
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
No.
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
Not applicable.
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
45 days for the obligor, while other account holders must do so "within a reasonable time."
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
Not applicable.
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
The obligor is limited to mistakes of identity and mistakes in amount of overdue support, while joint account holders may challenge on any basis available under Mississippi law.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
Judicial.
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
Court determination.
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
Not applicable.
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
45 days from receipt of notice. No unique requirements. Non-debtor has same appeal rights as obligor.
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
Centralized. Practically automated.
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
None.
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
Yes
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
While non-liquid assets are subject to execution, there is no special or expedited procedure for IV-D enforcement, so we would have to travel under generally applicable law.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
Yes. 45 days or until the challenge is resolved in court, if a challenge is filed. MDHS notifies the financial institution if a challenge has been filed.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
Immediately after expiration of the 45 day period or upon notice that MDHS has prevailed in court if a challenge was filed.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Administrative
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Administrative lien, subpoena, requests for information from employers, credit reporting, and license suspension.
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
Arrest for civil contempt, State criminal prosecution, or Federal Prosecution.
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
For real property, liens must be enrolled in the proper circuit court. For assets such as financial institutions no enrollment is needed.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
Administrative liens on certain assets, such as assets in financial institution assets.
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
Register the lien in court.
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
Judicial contempt for arrest.
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
Yes
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act has been adopted. It is applicable to judgments entered by state and federal courts, but not judgments from foreign countries. section 11-7-301
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
The non-custodial parent must have a child support order and have delinquent support that has remained unpaid for at least 60 days after the payment is due.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
TransUnion, Innovis, and Equifax
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
Not applicable
J19. What documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
Not applicable
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?
Not applicable
For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
Not applicable
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
Not applicable
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
Not applicable
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
Yes
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the additional documentation required.
Not applicable.
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
If there is an open IV-D case, then MDHS will assist upon proper request. If there is not an open IV-D case, then you must contact the clerk of the court where the order was entered.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
If there is an open IV-D case, then MDHS will provide upon proper request. If there is not an open IV-D case, then such a record is likely non-existent.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
Yes for certified copy of court order, payable to the clerk of court. No for payment record.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
Generally, we provide 90 day notice to the obligor, and he/she has 90 days to pay the arrearage or enter into an agreement to pay the arrearage over time. If he/she fails to do so, then MDHS notifies the licensing entity to suspend the license, which remains suspended until notified by MDHS to reinstate. We usually require payment of a lump sum toward the arrears and execution of an agreement to pay the remainder over time before reinstatement. We do not have an explicit policy regarding low income parents or a hardship exemption at this time. However, license reinstatement is encouraged in instances where the non-custodial parent has been recently released from incarceration.
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
1) the noncustodial parent has failed to comply with a subpoena or warrant relating to paternity or child support proceedings and the case contains a last known address for the NCP; or 2) the noncustodial parent is one or more months delinquent in making payments in full for current support and support arrearage and the case contains a last known address for the NCP; or 3) the NCP becomes delinquent after agreeing to a payment plan.
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
No.
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
N/A
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
If it is the first suspension, the obligor may pay three times the monthly support obligations or the total arrears, whichever is less. If it is a subsequent suspension, the obligor must pay the total arrears or reach an agreement with the staff attorney.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
Typically paying a lump sum and signing a stipulated agreement admitting to the delinquency.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
No
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
N/A
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
License reinstatement is encouraged and the requirement of J30 are relaxed in instances where the non-custodial parent has recently been released from incarceration.
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
No.
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
N/A
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
3 months delinquency or $500.
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes.
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
Yes.
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
$500.00
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes.
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
3 months delinquency or $500.
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
Yes.
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
Yes.

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
Every three years.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
On written request of the non-custodial or custodial parent.
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
A review of all case information is completed and a determination is made if there has been a 25% change in circumstances. If so, a petition for modification is filed and completed within 180 days.
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
Yes
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Yes
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
K4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
In Mississippi, "change in circumstance" is determined by caselaw and can include a variety of factual scenarios.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
Not applicable
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
Pursuant to Mississippi case law and policy, disability payments may be used to credit current support. SSA disability is not credited towards past support. Also, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-11-71(6), an obligor shall receive credit for disability payments that are paid as a retroactive lump sum to his or her children to whom there is an arrearage if the arrearage accrued after the date of disability onset as determined by the Social Security Administration.
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
Yes
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
We have no automatic abatement process, but we do petition the courts to abate or suspend obligations in certain situations.
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.
Our computer systems interface with each other and transfer all needed information.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
Our Department of Health Bureau of Vital Records determines needed information and costs. Contact MS Dept of Health for more information.
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
The UIFSA transmittal sheet, registration statement, 2 copies of orders including 1 certified, affidavit of accounting, identifying information on the obligor, and except in cases of domestic violence, identifying information on the obligee. See Miss. Code Ann. section 93-25-602.
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
Yes.
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
Current support plus arrears. See Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-11-65(9).
K10. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration? **
1) The child is declared emancipated by court order. 2) The child marries. 3) The child enters into military service and serves on a full-time basis. 4) The child is convicted of a felony and sentenced to be incarcerated for two or more years. See Miss. Code Ann. section 93-11-65(8).

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
Yes
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
Lump sum is defined as "any form of income paid to an individual at other than regular intervals or a payment made upon a particular occasion regardless of frequency that is dependent upon meeting a condition precedent, including, but not limited to, the performance of a contract, commission paid outside of and in addition to a person's regular pay cycle, the satisfaction of a job performance standard or quota, the receipt of a seasonal or occasional bonus or incentive payment, the liquidation of unused sick or vacation pay or leave, the settlement of a claim, an amount paid as severance pay, or an award for length of service."
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-11-101(l)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
Yes
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-11-103(13)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
No
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
If there is an arrearage and the lump sum is more than $500.00.
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
To report a lump-sum or for further lump-sum inquiries, please email or fax us at mscsecallcenter@mdhs.ms.gov or 662-746-4969.
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
Forty-five (45) days before the planned date of the lump-sum payment, or as soon as the decision is made to make the payment, should that be less than forty-five (45) days.
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
No
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
Yes
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
Notice of Lien
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
Notice of Lien.
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
No.
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
Not applicable.
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
Not applicable
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
Per Section 93-11-103(13), the full lump sum shall be withheld up to the entire arrearage.
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
No, the employer would withhold for that period's obligation pursuant to the withholding order, and if the employer had also received a Notice of Lien regarding the lump sum, then the employer would withhold from the lump sum pursuant to the Notice of Lien.
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Informatix Inc.
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes.
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Conduent Inc.
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
All MDHS "cash" programs are on the same debit card. SNAP benefits use a separate card.
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
Yes.
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
There are small fees for excessive ATM withdrawals and customer service calls among other things. However point-of-sale purchases are always free.
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
Payments must be made to the State Disbursement Unit. Payments may be made by income withholding. Payments may be made by check. Payments may be made by credit card. Payments may be made by electronic funds transfer
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty countries when your state is the responding state in a case? **
Payments are disbursed to the applicable case as indicated, at the current exchange rate.
L17. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing? **
None.
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
No
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
N/A
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
N/A

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
No
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
Not applicable.
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
There is no state insurance match program. We only pursue insurance matches through OCSE.
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
N/A
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
Not applicable.
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
N/A
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
N/A
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
Yes. Although insurers are not specifically addressed.
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
Miss. Code Ann. 93-11-71
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
Notice of Lien and IWO
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
In Workers Compensation instances, the Workers Compensation Commission sends notice, but we also send a courtesy notice. In other instances, we send a courtesy notice.
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
Not applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
No.
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
Notice of Lien
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?
Electronically file a Notice of Lien, IWO, and Statement of Accounting with the Workers Compensation Commission, send copies to insurance carrier, obligor, and obligor's attorney if known.

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
N2. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
N3. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? MSC P GSC17)
N4. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that per its request the case is closed and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18)