A Mississippi court uses several criteria to determine child custody. Primarily, Mississippi determines custody based on the best interests of the child. Additionally, a Mississippi court does not discriminate against a parent, based on a parent's gender. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Mississippi should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state.
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Parenting Plans and Child Custody in Mississippi
A Mississippi court may require parents seeking custody of a child to submit a parenting plan to the court.
Child Custody Arrangements in Mississippi
A Mississippi court may award the following types of custody:
- Joint physical and legal custody to both parents
- Joint physical custody to both parents and legal custody to one parent
- Joint legal custody to both parents and physical custody to one parent
- Physical and legal custody to one parent
Joint Custody in Mississippi
A Mississippi court assumes that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. If the court awards joint custody, both parents must jointly make decisions concerning the child's health, education and medical needs. Mississippi may modify a joint custody award, if a party presents evidence of a material change of circumstances.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody in Mississippi
A Mississippi court presumes that a person who has been convicted of family violence should not have custody of a child. However, a court will consider the following factors:
- Whether the alleged abuser has completed a batterer's treatment program
- Whether the alleged abuser has completed an appropriate parenting class
- Whether the alleged abuser has completed an alcohol or drug treatment program, if appropriate
- Whether the alleged abuser has completed any further acts of violence
If the court grants visitation to a parent who has a history of family violence, the court may consider doing one of the following:
- Ordering supervised visitation
- Ordering the exchange of a child in a protected setting
- Forbidding overnight visitation
For more information about child custody in Mississippi, speak with a qualified attorney in Mississippi or refer to the Mississippi Code.