Tag Archives: legal 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.

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Are YOU a Terrible Parent?

Food, shelter and clothing are necessities and while providing them is the minimum, doing so alone does not make you a great parent.

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  • Do you encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent?
    • Just NOT badmouthing them does not make you a great parent. You should encourage and promote a good relationship.  Oh, and it’s required when parties have joint legal custody.
  • Do you withhold financial support from your child?
    • Money isn’t everything, but there is no excuse for not supporting your child.
  • Do you degrade the other parent to your child?
    • “I don’t lie to my child!” 1) Yes, you do. Everyday, to protect them. 2) Telling them how big a scoundrel the other parent is hurts the child. Half of their identity is from that scoundrel!
  • Do you prevent your child from seeing the other parent or interfere with the visitation?
    • Out of sight is NOT out of mind. Absence can make the heart grow fonder…

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Lawyer in Mississippi and reminds you to not be a terrible parent.

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.

What do Hurricanes and Legal Custody have in Common?

Legal custody pertains to the decision making right regarding your child’s health, education and general welfare.

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Legal custody, most commonly awarded as “Joint Legal Custody,” requires that each parent keep the other 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.  Chancery Courts require 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 are not always known for exercising common sense.  Hurricanes and Legal Custody require that you  keep the other parent informed on the well-being of the child.

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody attorney in Mississippi and routinely exercises common sense and encourages you to do so as well.

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

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