Waiving Back Child Support In Mississippi
The short answer is no. Waiving back child support in Mississippi is nearly impossible. The child support payments vest in the child as they accrue. Those payments cannot be modified or forgiven, but only paid.
Recent Mississippi law held the child support payments could not be forgiven by agreement of the parties or order of the court. That ruling takes things a step further since even the court cannot go back and purge or remove the payments.
To top it all off, the custodial parent owes a fiduciary duty to the child. That means they have a duty to use the child support benefits for the good of the child. Therefore, by waiving any back child support, they may be breaching that duty.
Since it is clear the benefits do not belong to either parent, it makes sense that either parent or both of them, can waive those benefits. To top it off the court doesn’t have the authority to waive child support arrearages.
Plus, even if the parents agreed and the court approved to waive back benefits, both parents could expose themselves to liability in the future. The custodial parent would be particularly exposed in that situation. The child could come back and potentially bring a cause of action against one or both parents over the “waived” benefits.
How do you get out of paying back child support then? Disprove paternity. Show the child is not yours by clear and convincing evidence. In the event the child is not yours, then all or some of the arrears will likely be forgiven.
Another way to “pay” the arrears is through additional physical support. By taking care of the child for times outside of the court’s order, you may be given a credit to apply toward any arrears.
If you or a loved one has questions regarding waiving back child support in Mississippi, The Franks Law Firm, PLLC works closely with many family law firms. Contact us at (601) 283-2343 for an initial consultation.