Tag Archives: grandparent visitation

‘Til Death, Even in Divorce

There  is an old joke that the only sure things in life are death & taxes.  Even in divorce you still have to worry about death and taxes.

Death:  I have had several pending cases ended by death.  In one instance my client’s spouse died very suddenly of an accident.  It ended a contested divorce and custody case that had been progressing very slowly and not particularly amicably.  While the divorce and custody issues were over, it created new issues with the deceased spouse’s family. Grandparent visitation issues and intestacy issues arose, since the spouse died without a will (intestate).  This made the surviving spouse and children equal beneficiaries.  This was something the deceased’s side of the family was not to keen about.

I was also involved in a case where the non-custodial parent got custody of the children when the custodial parent died after the case was “over.”  They had been divorced for a few years.  But upon the custodial parent’s death the children when back to the surviving parent.

Death does not end the issues you have with the other parent or former spouse.  I know a lot of divorcing spouses may think it will solve all of their problems if that so-and-so would just die, but it could leave your children without their other parent.  It can create issues with the former in-laws, who now may be pursuing their rights of grandparent visitation.  It can create financial uncertainty as support obligations end at death, usually, and there might not be insurance or enough insurance.

Be careful what you wish for…

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that hopes your case is not prolonged or shortened due to the death of your attorney.  (Taxes will be the subject of another riveting post).

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer  

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


Grandparents, Not Just for Babysitting (Grandparent’s Visitation in Mississippi)

For as long as people have had children there have been grandchildren.  Where there are grandchildren there are Grandparents.  Where there are Grandparents there are free babysitters!

Mississippi has a statute, MCA 93-16-3, that specifically provides for Grandparent’s Visitation.  Grandparent’s Visitation is different from babysitting and is different from just being in the child’s life.  Specifically, Grandparent Visitation is for when the mother or father of the child dies, to insure that the Grandparent continues to have access to the child or when the Grandparent and their child have a falling out and the Grandparent has a viable relationship and active in the grandchild’s life, and also in divorce and/or Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) situations.

The law provides a viable relationship may be proven by showing that the grandparent has supported the grandchild in whole or in part for at least six months prior to the filing of the petition, or the grandparent had frequent visitation for one year prior to the filing of the petition.

The case of Martin v. Coop, 693 So.2d 912, 913 (Miss. 1997), list the factors the Court considers when determining the amount of Grandparent Visitation.

  • Potential disruption in the child’s life;
  • Suitability of the grandparents’ home;
  • The child’s age;
  • The age, physical and mental health of the grandparents;
  • The emotional ties between grandparents and the child;
  • The grandparents’ moral fitness;
  • Physical distance from the parents’ home;
  • Any undermining of the parents’ discipline;
  • The grandparents’ employment responsibilities;
  • The grandparents’ willingness not to interfere with the parents’ rearing of the child.

Usually grandparent visitation is not the equivalent of parental visitation.  Meaning grandparents will not get every other weekend under ordinary circumstances.

A Grandparent Visitation suit can also result in the Grandparents paying their own attorney fees PLUS those of the mother/father as  provided for in the statute.

Grandparents have rights in Mississippi to see their grandchildren.

**Grandparent Visitation is different from a grandparent seeking custody, which is a different standard and a blog for another day.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and knows grandparent’s rights.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

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