May 2023 | No. 2021-CA-00700-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2023)

Manley v. Manley (Mississippi 2023)

A parent must provide clear and convincing evidence in order to receive credit for payments made outside of the terms of a child support order. The mother filed a contempt action against the father for failure to pay child support. The father testified he had paid for the children’s expenses including car payments, tags, car insurance, and rent. The chancery court entered a judgement against the father for past-due support. The father appealed. The appellate court affirmed. Mississippi case law has allowed for direct payments that serve the purpose of court-ordered support but they must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. The father’s testimony wasn’t enough. He didn’t provide any receipts or documents. The appellate court also noted the father seemed to argue that anything he purchased should be deducted from his court-ordered support. This isn’t the situation. A parent can’t unilaterally change the terms of a child support order.

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