Tag Archives: child custody

Child Custody In Mississippi

There are 2 types of custody in Mississippi Chancery Courts.download.jpg

  1. Legal custody refers to the decision-making rights regarding your child’s health, education and general welfare.

Legal custody, most commonly awarded as “Joint Legal Custody,” requires that each parent keep the other parent reasonably informed of the child’s goings on. This includes not only health, education, and general welfare, but also school and activity schedules, medical appointments and any major matter regarding the child’s life

It requires that parents communicate and cooperate when it comes to making decision about the well-being of the child. It certainly includes informing the other parent if a move is anticipated.

Legal custody includes sharing the status of the child’s well-being and location in emergency situations.

If there is going to be a fight in a custody case it will be over Physical Custody.

2.) Physical Custody is different than Legal custody. Physical custody concerns which parent has actual, physical possession of the child.

Within Physical custody there are officially only 2 types;

1) Joint Physical custody which by statute means each parent spends a significant portion of time with the child (though it does not have to be 50/50); and much more common is the second type

2) (Sole) Physical custody to one parent, subject to the other parent’s visitation. This is far more common in Mississippi.  A lot of your Agreements may have the term “primary” in the physical custody language and some Judges even insist that it be specified, but “primary” has no statutory significance, meaning it is not a term that carries legal meaning.  Lawyers, including myself, still use the term however.

If the parents cannot agree on Custody the Court will conduct what is known as an “Albright Analysis.”  Albright v. Albright, 437 So. 2d 1003 (Miss. 1983), is a Mississippi case from the early 1980’s that lists 13 factors that the Court must consider when making an initial custody determination.  The specific facts of your case are considered as they relate to each factor and the Court makes a determination as to which factor favors which parent. The Court also determines how to weigh each factor. For instance, the sex of the child while considered, will likely not count as much as the continuity of care for the child. The paramount consideration is “the best interests of the child.

A court determines that by looking at the following factors:

1.       Age of the child.

2.       Health of the child.

3.       Sex of the child.

4.       Continuity of care prior to the separation.

5.    Which parent has the better parenting skills and the willingness and capacity to provide primary child care.

6.       The employment of the parent and the responsibilities of that employment.

7.       Physical and mental health and age of the parents.

8.       Emotional ties of parent and child.

9.       Moral fitness of the parents.

10.     The home, community and school record of the child.

11.     The preference of the child at the age sufficient to express a preference by law. (Must be at least 12, and it’s ONLY a preference)

12.     Stability of home environment and employment of each parent.

13.     Other factors relevant to the parent-child  relationship.

For additional information please click Dads Have Rights Too!

**Note, marital fault should not be used as a sanction in custody awards. Relative financial situations should not control since the duty to support is independent of the right to custody.  Differences in religion, personal values and lifestyles should not be the sole basis for custody decisions.

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody attorney in Mississippi and will fight for your custody and visitation rights.

img_6390

Super Parents Parent Superly

With an exciting Super Bowl in our immediate rear-view mirror, what better time is there than to remind ourselves to be super parents?

Fortunately, being a super parent does not require that you be a perfect parent. As we all know, “Excellence does not require perfection.” – Henry James

Super Parents _______ the child(ren).

  • Support and encourage
  • Spend time with
  • Invest in the child’s life
  • know who the teachers, friends and other important people are
  •         Encourage a great relationship with the other parent
  •         Lots of other things, too.

Matthew Thompson if a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi and encourages you to be a super parent, even if the other parent is not.

img_6390.png

“Sir, Yes, Sir.” The Military is Respected in Custody Courts.

Our Military service personnel deal with serious family law issues which can be made more difficult due to their military service.  Being subject to activation, deployment, required training, frequent moves and dangerous activities add to making circumstances more difficult.

imgres.jpg

However, Mississippi has specific protections for military parents.

 MCA 93-5-34, provides an efficient process to resolve custody matters when dealing with a military parent.  Upon such circumstances of a custodial parent serving, the statute provides that the other parent will have custody, but that custody ends within 10 days of the former custodial parent returning from service.

Additionally, it provides that the serving parent shall have reasonable access for phone and video visits.  The deployed member may also delegate visitation to their own family members.  These types of military custody cases receive priority by the Courts to be heard and the serving parent may “attend” via affidavit or electronic means where possible.

Lastly, a parent’s service cannot be used against that parent upon their return for a custody modification by the other parent.

Matthew Thompson is a Military Divorce Attorney in Mississippi.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms