April 2019 | No. 2017-CA-01767-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2019)

Gunter v. Gunter (Mississippi 2019)

Courts may depart from the child support guideline amount but must make specific findings to support the departure. The final decree of divorce in this case ordered the father to pay guideline child support, plus half of the children’s private school tuition, daycare expenses, and unreimbursed medical costs. The father appealed, arguing this was an impermissible deviation from the guidelines. The court of appeals found the chancery court was within its discretion regarding the daycare and medical expenses. The court of appealed reversed the tuition award. Mississippi law treats private school tuition as part of child support and requires specific findings if tuition is awarded in addition to guideline child support. The appellate court found the order lacked the required findings and remanded it.

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