Bruton v. Bruton (Mississippi 2018)

No. 2017-CA-00124-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2018)
October 2018

If a child support award is above the guideline amount, the Court must justify the award. In his case, the original divorce decree required the father to pay support plus day care and 60 percent of the children’s private school tuition and fees. Two years later, the father filed for a modification. The modified order increased his support pursuant to the guidelines, and after hearing a variety of motions, decreased the percentage of tuition that he was obligated to pay. The father appealed. The Court of Appeals upheld the child support portion of the order. It found that the child support ordered from his income was the guideline amount, however, the father was also ordered to contribute to tuition on top of that. As tuition is considered part of child support, the total child support award was an upward deviation from the guidelines. The Court found the Chancellor considered appropriate factors to support an upward modification.