Thursday, January 7, 2010

Visitation in Mississippi

Visitation is the time a child spends with a noncustodial parent. In Mississippi, a noncustodial parent has a right to continued significant contact with his or her child under circumstances that foster a close relationship. The court’s primary concern when determining how much visitation is proper balancing the best interests of the child coupled with the rights of the noncustodial parent.

Absent danger or other potential detriment to the child, the court will award “standard” or “liberal” visitation to a noncustodial parent. In Mississippi, standard visitation has been defined by the Mississippi Supreme Court as two (2) weekends a month until Sunday afternoon, at least five weeks of summer visitation, and some holiday visitation. More or less may be awarded depending on the specific facts of the case.

Unless parents can work well together, an Order or Agreement providing for visitation should be detailed, clearly specifying the dates of visitation, the exact times of transfer and other arrangements including which party is to bear the cost of transportation for visitation. When parties are unable to work together, ambiguous visitation provisions routinely result in continuing post-divorce litigation.

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