Issues to Talk about with a Mississippi Baby Custody Legal professional

There is no point in the children expressing their desire to live with you since the Mississippi courts do not have to honor their wishes.

Mississippi’s divorce rate has steadily declined over the past 10 years, but there are still many couples who choose to call it quits and go their separate ways. The question is – what happens to the children? There are basically two options – the parents can agree and create a parenting plan, or leave it to a judge.

When you speak to experienced child custody attorneys in Mississippi, they will advise you to put your angers and frustrations behind and discuss with your ex-spouse what is best for the children. The point is that you know your family’s situation better than a judge ever will, so you better understand what would or wouldn’t work for you.

When the two of you sit down with a custody attorney in Jackson or elsewhere in the state, you must decide on two issues – physical custody and legal custody. Both can be sole or joint custody.

Let’s see what each of them implies.

Custody relates to where the children will live. If circumstances allow, you can choose joint custody and both parents will spend approximately equal amounts of time with the children. About two weeks with one parent and the other two with the other. Or whatever works for you.

Laughing child in father’s arms; Image by Joice Kelly, via

If you want sole custody of the children, that doesn’t mean you can exclude the other parent from the child’s life. You will be made the primary custodial parent, but your partner will have visitation rights as the non-custodial parent. They spend one evening a week with the children, have them sleep over every other weekend and part of the vacation and school holidays. The only way to exclude the other parent from the child’s life is to have the child declared unfit by a judge. To do that, they need extensive evidence of abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, etc. Even then, they may still receive supervised visits or other court-mandated accommodations. You must remember that the judge has a legal duty to look after the best interests of the child, and that includes having a meaningful relationship with the parents. There is also no point in letting the children express their desire to live with you, since the Mississippi courts do not have to honor their wishes.

Custody lawyers can also provide custody advice. This refers to who will make the important decisions related to the child’s well-being – what school they should attend, what medical treatment they should receive, etc.

If you both decide to have joint custody, you need to make sure that you can talk to each other and come to a reasonable conclusion. Otherwise you are prepared for endless quarrels that poison the atmosphere and make the situation unbearable for the children.

If you come to an agreement, your attorneys will help you draft the parenting plan, and the judge will most likely approve it.

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