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Mississippi Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: I’m court ordered through DHS to get $160 but I barely get it. If I closed the case & used a lawyer could I get more?

He has like 5 other child support cases but his oldest two kids are grown. My child is 10. He feels like as long as I have him on child support through dhs he doesn’t have to do anything else so he wants me to close my case so that the arrearage won’t add up. He keeps changing jobs and... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 24, 2021

First, if you drop the case with DHS, the arrearage will continue to accrue. Second, generally, child support is based on a net income figure for the paying parent and any previously court-ordered child support, not the number of children he has. If his older children have emancipated, they cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: Is alimony and child support awarded by the court in Mississippi a public record?

I have a step daughter whom was married and divorced over three years ago to a prominent doctor. They had three children all minors born from the marriage. I continue to support her as she said she receives zero alimony or child support from the ex husband. I have gone by her word in this matter.... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 20, 2021

The court records are open to the public. Go to the chancery court in the county where the divorce was entered. Give they clerk her name and her ex’s name and ask to see the file. The final Order will be there.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: My husband and I remarried in 2020. He is a disabled vet and doesn’t pay taxes. I filed a joint tax return at the end.

They took the taxes even though he doesn’t pay taxes to pay back child support on our case. The case was closed in March after they took our taxes. However, we still can’t get out taxes released

William R. Wright
William R. Wright answered on Jul 17, 2021

I really don't have enough facts to be confident about my answer. However, I am assuming you meant that the IRS took your refund. If either joint filer has a back child support issue, any refunds can be confiscated by the IRS. I don' t believe that the IRS will release the confiscated... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: My husband had a child with someone else but the child was taken by CPS because she failed a drug test after childbirth.

CPS ended up giving him custody and she signed her parental rights over to him. A year later he asked me to watch him while he went to rehab. He ended up leaving it early but he let me continue to watch him. Almost a year after he came back the birth mom was incarcerated and he committed suicide... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 1, 2021

If her parental rights were terminated, then she cannot come back and reclaim custody. The best thing you can do is to hire an attorney and petition the court for custody yourself. You do not say whether or not there are other family members available for the child. This, of course, may complicate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: i just need to know how where and what to do to get a child modification in mississippi..

they are going off of my income from YEARS ago. and i no longer work due to health problems. i was counting on the stimulus to pay my bills but i got a paper saying they took my taxes due to child support. when i look on the website it doesnt give me any answers just more run arounds

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

You need to file for a modification of the last court order requesting a decrease in your child support amount. You will have to show a decrease in income since the entry of the last order that was caused by circumstances beyond your control. In other words, you didn’t voluntarily quit your job... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: My friend’s mother filed for custody of her daughter. She was awarded based on lies. How can she get custody back?

My friend was with a man who her mother did not approve of. Her mother would keep her most of the time while my friend worked. Her boyfriend at the time went to jail. Her mother filed for emergency custody, lied and said she brought her daughter to the jail for visits, again lied and said she was a... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

Your friend will need to hire an attorney for this one. She will have to file for a modification of the present order and request custody. She will have an uphill battle and may be successful in only gaining incremental gains over time. In other words, it may take more than one filing over time.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Mississippi on
Q: A sibling has custody of brother, the dad wants to see him after being out of prison for months. Child has expressed

He doesn't want to see him at all because after getting out of prison the first time he went back to jail months later and even after getting out the second time he choose to go back to his same ways not trying to see child until months after being out now the kid just choose not to see him at... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

You don’t say how old the child is, so the quick answer is maybe. If contact is denied to the father, he will have to petition to court for either visitation rights or some kind or contempt if there is an Order in place establishing his visitation rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Mississippi on
Q: Can a non-custodial parent's visitation be restricted to supervised if she is suicidal?

The children are 10 year old triplets and have been in the father's custody for 8 years. Mother has visitation. Last night, mother sent text messages to all 3 of the children on their cell phones threatening suicide. What steps will have to be taken and is it possible to have an emergency... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

Yes, an emergency hearing would be available to the custodial parent in this situation with or without notice to the noncustodial parent, depending on the circumstances. However, steps should be taken to file such a motion immediately. Once the emergency has passed, the custodial parent will have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: Can a sperm donor who helped a same-sex couple have a baby pursue rights to the child if he signed papers with a notory?

The biological mother and her partner are both on the birth certificate and in the agreement signed by the sperm donor and the mother states that he would not pursue any rights and that the biological mother has the right to appoint whoever she wanted as the other parent of the child.

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

The first consideration for Chancery Court is the best interest of the child. The contract between the donor and the birth mother is only one piece of evidence to be considered. The donor may be able to contest the arrangement and seek visitation with the child. However, it will not be an easy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: What does it mean if you get a letter from DHS saying This is an arrears only case. There is no obligation to review

I was paying back child support and I just got a letter from DHS saying: This is an arrears only case. There is no obligation to review. What does this mean

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

The letter means that DHS is attempting to collect a debt of past due child support only, not current support. Also, the agency is not reviewing the file in an effort to increase the monthly support amount.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Family Law, Legal Malpractice and Small Claims for Mississippi on
Q: How can I legally access my deceased fathers lawsuit settlement?

My father passed a few months prior to a settlement being reached in a class lawsuit. I reached out on his behalf and was told to submit necessary documents(death certificate, affidavit, etc). I did so by certified mail to insure proper delivery. Yet they've still refused to relinquish his... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 13, 2020

A Mississippi attorney could advise best, but you await a response for four weeks. I'm sorry for the loss of your father. It looks like you already made diligent efforts. Ask the case administrators at the firm what further information is necessary. This might be something where more than... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Mississippi on
Q: My daughter turns 12 next month and wants to live with me full time. Can I do this myself at a courthouse w/no lawyer?

I understand that the child can choose which parent they want to live with if they are 12 or older, even though the judge has the overall decision on the matter after an interview with the child. Now to my question. Is having a lawyer required for this process? Or is it something I can go to the... Read more »

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on May 22, 2020

It is something that you can attempt to do yourself; however, when it comes to custody matters, many judges throughout the state require that the parties be represented by an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: My ex. arrears balance is 84,000 for twins who are now 23. One has a handicap. Does this balance expire due to age?
Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on May 16, 2020

Yes. Your children (or you acting on their behalf) have until their 28th birthday to initiate an action against your ex to collect the arrears, otherwise the balance may be wiped clean. I would highly encourage you to reach out to a family law attorney as soon as possible, so that an action can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Military Law for Mississippi on
Q: Can i file for an annulment with my husband being in Guam with the military? We both have agreed on everything

We have nothing together, no kids or pets, and do not wish to dispute anything.

I will also be moving back to Ohio within the next week or two

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on May 16, 2020

Getting an annulment is tricky; however, from the looks of it, it would likely be easier for you to get a divorce, especially if he is in agreement. I would highly encourage you to reach out to a lawyer to discuss further, as the process is relatively simple and straightforward. Most lawyers on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Litigation for Mississippi on
Q: My child's father came to get our child and has not returned her in almost 2 months.

I'm unable to communicate with her father and have to go through his fiance and she barely picks up the phone. I haven't talked with my child in weeks because they never pick up the phone. I contact via Facebook messenger and barely get a message back. I've asked over and over... Read more »

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on May 16, 2020

You need to get in touch with an experienced family law attorney. First and foremost, the main question that I have is whether there is a custody order already in place. If there is, that would outline all visitation matters, in which case there is a good chance that you can file a complaint... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: How can my husband get custody of my 3 children from their mother, who has full custody?

My husband and I have had his 3 children for 6 years. Their mother has full custody of them, but she has nothing to do with them. Maybe twice a year she sees them. Sometimes, she will show up and take them out of school, only to drop them off with us after a month or two and never show back up. She... Read more »

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on May 16, 2020

From the sound of it, you have a decent shot at modifying custody so that he has custody of the kids. The problem that comes into the play would be the back child support, because that continued to accrue even though the kids were living with you. I would highly encourage you to reach out to a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: What can we do to get my granddaughter back?

My daughter lives in Mississippi and her ex is refusing to give her daughter back to her. He told her “Good luck with being able to do anything about it during this pandemic”. They were never married and both lived in petal Mississippi until recently he went to stay in Wiggins Mississippi with... Read more »

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on Apr 10, 2020

Your best bet will be to try and contact a legal aid organization, such as Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, to see about getting a lawyer who can assist with an emergency hearing.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: Mother is a nurse. She is exposed daily to the covid 19 virus. Is there anyway to try and get temporary custody

The children are at a greater risk of being exposed. Noone in my household leaves the home. The mother is not letting me have visitation due to the virus. Our contempt modification hearing was postponed because of this virus. We live in ms. Mother lives in lousiana. Court jurisdiction is ms

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on Apr 2, 2020

You can attempt to get temporary custody; however, if there is already a custody order in place, it will be incredibly difficult to modify that, even on a temporary basis. That being said, the easier approach would be to separate the contempt side of things from the modification side, so that you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Probate and Social Security for Mississippi on
Q: I have a step sister who has my father's power of attorney and he has passed away. She is saying she is also incharge of

his estate. I have never seen his will or anything. She claims he has a lot of debt. She is wanting my social security # because she cashed his check for December the month he died. She states she needs that so they can take the funds out of the estate. Thank You Annette

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on Jan 12, 2020

The only way that she can legitimately be put in charge of the estate is if she already filed the paperwork with a chancery court and the court appointed her as the executrix over your father's estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: After 5 years of trying, I was finally awarded a child support order. I was told that the absent father was ordered to

Pay over $600 per month. However, I have only received 3 $50 payments. Why am I not receiving the amount that was ordered in the judgment? Why am I not consistently receiving payments? Should the payments come on the same day every month?

Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon answered on Jan 7, 2020

It sounds like you may need to consider talking to a family law attorney to file a contempt action against the father for failure to adequately pay child support, as he should be paying the full amount on a regular basis.

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