Escalation Clauses in Child Support Are In!

It makes sense to build clauses into child support agreements which allow the support to fluctuate up or down depending upon the income of the payor. These clauses are called “escalation clauses.” In Mississippi, the Supreme Court suggested years ago that attorneys use escalation clauses. The reason is that they allow for changes in support without making the parties go back to court.

However, the Court later imposed criteria for the clauses which made it impossible for any attorney to draft an effective clause. In what appears to be an attempt to bring escalation clauses into more widespread use, the Court recently addressed this situation and stated that clauses tied to a percentage of adjusted gross income on the tax return are likely to be considered valid as “clear and measurable” and “adequately and sufficiently providing for the needs of the child.” Short v. Short, No. 2011–CT–01096–SCT (2/6/14).