Thursday, January 7, 2010

Child Custody in Mississippi

Child custody is the most litigious aspect of family law proceedings in Mississippi. Chancellors in Mississippi have authority to award custody of minor children in a variety of actions including initial divorce cases and in custody actions between unmarried parents and third parties. In addition, a chancellor awarding custody in one of these cases will have continuing jurisdiction to modify or enforce its order (through contempt proceedings).

A. Types of Child Custody

In Mississippi, there are two types of child custody: (1) physical custody, and (2) legal custody. Physical custody is the period of time in which a child resides with, or is under the care of, one of the parents. On the other hand, legal custody is the “intellectual” aspect of custody and refers to the right to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of your child.

B. Ways Custody May be Split.

There are a variety of ways that child custody may be awarded in Mississippi. Both physical and legal custody may be awarded solely to one parent or parents may be made joint physical and legal custodians. Joint legal custody means that parents share decision-making rights with regard to the child. When joint physical custody is awarded, a child will spend a significant amount of time with both parents. A court may award joint physical and legal custody, joint legal custody with sole physical custody in one parent, joint physical custody with sole legal custody in one parent or physical and legal custody to either parent. Where a home has more than one child, a court may also order split custody, though there is a strong preference for keeping siblings in the same home in Mississippi.

C. Who Wins Custody

In Mississippi, it is now presumed that parents are equally entitled to custody of their children. In addition to the presumption of equality, other presumptions also directly influence custody actions in Mississippi. These include the presumption in favor of a natural parent, the presumption against custody to a violent parent, and the presumption in favor of joint custody upon request by both parents. It is important to remember that the polestar consideration in custody cases is the “best interests and welfare of the child”. Chancellors in Mississippi always determine custody based on this “best interests” approach or test.

So how exactly does a court determine what is in the best interests of your child when it comes to custody? This is a question that is fair to ask but often difficult answer. In Albright v. Albright, the Mississippi Supreme Court adopted twelve factors to use in weighing what is in the best interests of a child when determining which parent should have custody. These factors are as follows:

[1] Age, health and sex of child;
[2] Continuing care of child prior to (and after) separation;
[3] Parenting skills of each parent;
[4] Capacity to provide child care and employment responsibilities of parents;
[5] Physical and mental health and age of parents;
[6] Alcohol and drug use;
[7] Emotional ties of the parent and child;
[8] Moral fitness;
[9] Home, school and community record of child;
[10] Preference of a child twelve or older;
[11] Stability of the home environment and employment of each parent; and,
[12] Other relevant factors that should be considered in best interests of child.

In any case where custody of your child is at stake, representation by an experienced family law attorney is critical to protect the best interests of your child and ensure that your fundamental right to make decisions that will guide your child’s life is protected. A critical point to remember is that once custody of a child is lost, it is often very hard to recover.

15 comments:

  1. I went to Marshall Davis Brown to weigh my choices before deciding to conceive (since I'm not married, I was confused what the options were). I think it's good to set up a contract that is drawn up by a lawyer you trust before entering into any sort of family-related contract, and to make sure they're a great and reputable lawyer. There is too much that can go wrong in these kind of situations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, nice post. This is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Good blogs style too, can't wait to read another one like this. Cheers!
    Child Custody Lawyer Suffolk County, NY

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great! This is just what I needed! I have a sister who is going through a court case for her daughter. This information will be helpful, especially for hiring a child custody attorney in Anoka MN. Thanks for sharing this great information!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with a lot of what you have to say. This is really great writing. Thanks for sharing this great information! Irvine Divorce

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a very nice and help full information For effective legal representation, Child Custody Attorney Irvine, Child Custody Attorney Orange County you can trust divorce and family law . Thanks For sharing with us an awesome post. And keep share more blogs for us.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice discussion on child custody in Mississippi. Child custody is a contentious issue between parties involved. -Delray Beach Family Lawyers

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice article and great knowledge. I love this story and enjoy with your words! http://www.storobinlaw.com/family-lawyer.php

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is interesting and helpful guidance.It is very important to learn the right ways for it's installation and usage...the technology is advanced and need expertise to be family lawyer,divorce attorneys, foreclosure defense..Ok //hoyasa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much for taking the time for you personally to share such a nice info. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share.Ashwini Homoeopathy is leading Online Homoeopathy treatment in India , Specialising in treatment of Advanced diseases as Cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your article is really an inspiration to many. I'll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up!

    ________________________
    Dog trainers Baton Rouge

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why YouTube motion pictures are shared all over? I think one intention is that these are without inconvenience to get implant code and glue that code wherever you might want.

    http://shop4pills.us/cialis_generic.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Genuinely it's called Search motor advertising that when i hunt down this passage I discovered this website at the highest point of all web journals in web index.
    Divorce proceedings in Canada

    ReplyDelete
  13. The strategies stated in this article about to increase traffic at you own web site are really nice, thanks for such pleasant post. Lego for kids

    ReplyDelete
  14. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!
    Iranian Immigration lawyers in California

    ReplyDelete
  15. What's up it's me Fiona, I am moreover passing by this site reliably, this site page is truly wonderful and the customers are genuinely sharing incredible thoughts.
    Iranian Immigration Attorney

    ReplyDelete