Mississippi Divorce Custody
According to Mississippi divorce custody laws, courts try to ensure that best interests of the child are not compromised. Following guidelines are considered while awarding custody in the state of Mississippi:
- Courts in Mississippi initially ask the divorced parents to arrive at a suitable custody arrangement “outside the court”. This is to lessen the trauma of the custody battles on the child and the parents as well. In case, the parents fail to arrive at a decision, then, the final verdict of awarding the custody of the child is not based on the gender of the parent.
- Custody is awarded to the parent who can meet the emotional, medical, educational needs of the child and to whom the child turns to during moments of distress. The priority is hence; to gauge the parent-child relationship and the parent who bonds the most with the child is preferred for custody.
- Courts handling Mississippi divorce custody cases prefer joint custody while awarding custody of the child so that the child can get the benefits from both the parents. Sole custody (where only one parent gets the physical and legal custody of the child) is preferred only if it is found that the other parent is detrimental for the upbringing of the child.
- Judges may award sole custody to one parent but the legal decisions may be jointly awarded to both the parents.
- In some child custody cases in Mississippi, courts may joint physical custody but award sole legal custody to one parent only. Such decisions are taken after taking into consideration the best interest of the child and the capabilities of the parents.
- Judges try to look into the police records to ascertain any cases of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence or occurrence of any related brutality in the family. If the child has been a witness or a victim, then the divorce custody issue becomes more complicated.
- The physical and mental fitness of the parent to whom the custody should be awarded should be such that he/she should be capable of raising the child. While handling Mississippi divorce custody cases, a divorced parent can dispute custody allocation of the other parent stating that parent’s incapability of bringing up the child.
- Using the “income shares model”, Mississippi courts try to establish the child support figure. This is an important children’s right in a divorce, where both the incomes of the divorced parents are pooled in to arrive at a child support figure. This amount is for meeting the financial requirements of the child as he/she grows up. Child support amounts vary according to the special needs of the child and is terminated when the child turns 18 years old or has married.
- According to Mississippi divorce custody laws, the visitation schedule of the non-custodial parent must be respected and complied by the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has access to the child for planning holidays with the child during the child’s weekends and his/her vacations.