Labor Day and Visitation

With Labor Day approaching it is a good time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of American workers.  Those efforts are the reason we celebrate  Labor Day, and have since it became a Federal holiday in 1894.

Labor_day : Labor Day Design  with the handoff worker holding the wrench Stock Photo

Labor Day is also a good reminder for paying attention to visitation issues.  It is extremely common in the divorce agreements that I prepare that the non-custodial parent receive additional time, more than the every other weekends that seem “standard.”  I often include that the weekend extends through the Monday holiday.  This gives that parent additional time with the child of uninterrupted visitation.

In fact, I have a schedule of all Federal and State Holidays and routinely have this specifically addressed in custody/visitation agreements.  There is almost one Monday holiday in every month.  These times add up and provide both parents additional welcomed time with the child and perhaps, even, a much needed break.  Pay attention to the details when ironing out the specifics in a custody/visitation agreement and make sure you address the other holidays and not just the “big” ones.

Hurricanes and Legal Custody

Legal custody is the decision making right regarding your child.

An article about legal custody and hurricanes posted during a hurricane, how clever. But cleverness aside it does raise a significant issue in legal custody…

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Legal custody, most commonly joint, requires that each parent keep the other parent informed of the child’s goings on. This includes, but is not limited to their health, education and general welfare.It requires that parents communicate and cooperate, within reason, when it comes to making decision about the well-being of the child. (Even if a parent has sole legal custody the other parent still has the right to be informed about the goings on of the child and has the right to access school and medical records pursuant to Mississippi law, 93-5-26)

SEC. 93-5-26. Noncustodial parent’s right of access to records and information pertaining to minor children.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, except those provisions protecting the confidentiality of adoption records and except for cases in which parental rights have been legally terminated, access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including but not limited to medical, dental and school records, shall not be denied to a parent because the parent is not the child’s custodial parent if such parent’s parental rights have not been terminated by adoption or by a termination of parental rights proceeding.

Legal custody includes sharing the status of the child’s well-being and location in emergency situations. Madison County Chancery Court requires specific language that states;

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in the event of a threat, disaster, or other emergency, such as  a hurricane, which causes an emergency evacuation, any party who has custody of a mInor child (either physical custody or visitation) shall notify the other parent of the location and well-being of the minor as soon as reasonably possible.

While this should be common sense, divorced parties and warring parents are not always known for exercising common sense.  So please let the other parent know that the children are safe, where they are and how to contact them. 

Stay safe and stay dry.

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You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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The Court Can Bar you from Remarrying

Mississippi has some interesting (read funny) laws.  I have previously blogged about Mississippi’s “Undivorce” statute, wherein previously divorced parties can legally undo the divorce.  Well, did you know that a MS Judge can also bar you from getting married again?

MCA, Section 93-5-25 includes language that in the event that the Court awarded a divorce against a party for adultery and in the Court’s discretion so decides, that the Court may bar the guilty party from getting married again for one year, requiring the guilty party to petition the Court, thereafter to remove the restriction.  I inquired with a local Judge if this had ever been invoked and while he had not, he knew of an instance years ago where it had been used against a serial adulterer.  So, not only can Mississippi Court’s divorce you and undivorce you, but in certain circumstances they can prevent you from remarrying.

MCA 93-5-25 holds, in part, “And the judgment may provide, in the discretion of the court, that a party against whom a divorce is granted, because of adultery, shall not be at liberty to marry again; in which case such party shall remain in law as a married person. Provided, however, that after one (1) year, the court may remove the disability and permit the person to marry again, on petition and satisfactory evidence of reformation, or for good cause shown, on the part of the party so barred from remarriage; but the actions of the court under the foregoing proviso shall not be construed as affecting any judgment of divorce granted in any case where the discretion of the chancellor has been exercised in barring one (1) party from remarriage on account of adultery.”

Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, TPR/ Adoption and Appeals.

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