Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer and Attorney
Child Custody and Visitation arrangements in a Divorce, Separation, Paternity suit, or other legal proceeding are many times the most difficult challenges parents will have to face. These events will forever affect the parents and the child. The best interest of the Child or Children is always the deciding factor with Court decisions, according to long standing Mississippi law. It is critical that your child custody lawyer is prepared both with all the facts that would maximize your position and with the law that backs your position up. The Mississippi Supreme Court has handed down literally hundreds of decisions over decades and decades that set forth the proof required in a child custody case. These decisions are handed down weekly by the Mississippi Supreme Court. Your case can turn on a minute point of law. So, it is critical that your child custody lawyer is up-to-date on the latest changes in child custody law. At the Law Offices of Attorney John R. Reeves, P.C., we have handled hundreds of child custody cases over the many years of our practice, both plaintiff and defendant. We know the law and we maintain a vigil on Mississippi Supreme Court decisions that may change the law. Your child is too precious to run the risk of losing your child custody case because your child custody lawyer may be inexperienced or unprepared. Significantly, your child custody lawyer must get it right the first time because Mississippi child custody law provides that it is very difficult to change custody once it is fixed by the court. Don’t risk your child‘s future – call the Law Offices of Attorney John R. Reeves, P.C., now about your child custody matter.
What does “Best Interests of the Child or Children” mean?
The “Best Interests of the Child or Children” are based on many factors which have been developed over many years of Mississippi case law. It is essential to have a child custody attorney who knows these legal factors which include :
- Age of the child
- Gender of the child
- Mental and physical health of the child
- The child‘s preference if over 12 years of age (however, the court is not bound by the child’s preference)
- Which parent had the continuity of care for the child before the separation
- Which parent has the best parenting skills
- The demands of employment of each parent, and stability of employment of each parent
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The respective ages of the parents
- The emotional ties of each parent to the child
- The school and community records of the child
- The stability of the home environment of each parent
- Relative financial ability of each parent (however this is not a controlling factor)
- Religion, personal values and parental lifestyles (however these are to be taken into context and in relative value to the other parent)
- Any other factors relevant to the issue of custody
There are 2 kinds of Child Custody:
- Legal Custody – The responsibility and right to make decisions governing the rearing of the child. Issues such as: Education, Religion, Medical Care, and Discipline.
- Physical Custody – The actual possession of the child.
The Court may award Joint Legal and/or Physical Custody of a child, if, in its discretion, this would serve the child‘s best interests.
Child Visitation Rights
The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that “Reasonable Visitation” Rights must be given to the parent who does not have Physical Custody of the child. Visitation Rights allow the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have Child Custody) time to spend with his or her child. At a minimum, unless circumstances would point to a danger to the child, a non-custodial parent should be awarded visitation rights every other weekend, alternated holidays, and substantial time during the summer months. Most judges will award additional visitation if the non-custodial parent truly wants it and has the appropriate ability to care for the child. Your child custody lawyer must be prepared to present all relevant evidence to the court to maximize your position. One mistake could be costly to your case. Don’t risk inexperience or unpreparedness. The Law Offices of Attorney John R. Reeves, P.C., has handled thousands of visitations over the many years of our practice. Call us now.
Please contact us to arrange for a confidential consultation with an informed Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer and Attorney.