Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer

Attorney For Joint and Sole Custody Agreements in

DeSoto County, MS

Child custody is an important issue for both divorcing parents and parents who have never been married, as it helps to ensure that your children are raised in the best possible situation for their well-being with appropriate contributions from each parent. You may be fortunate to find yourself in a situation in which you and the child’s other parent share a common vision for your children’s best interests and are willing to cooperate to achieve it, but child custody can sometimes lead to major arguments between parents that are difficult to resolve.
At Douglass & Runger, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we help Mississippi families achieve child custody arrangements that protect the interests of parents and, most importantly, children. With our family law experience and comprehensive knowledge of Mississippi child custody law, we can advise you through the process of a collaborative agreement or litigate on your behalf in a child custody trial.

Factors Considered in a DeSoto County Child Custody Case

The court’s primary consideration in any child custody case is whether the arrangement is in the best interests of the children. The 1983 Mississippi Supreme Court case, Albright vs. Albright, confirmed several factors that should be considered in determining the child’s interests, including:

  • The child’s age, health, and sex
  • The parents’ age and physical and mental health
  • The parents’ parenting skills, willingness, and ability to care for the child
  • The parents’ job stability and work responsibilities
  • The child’s relationship and emotional ties with each parent
  • The child’s connection to his or her home, school, and community
  • The child’s preference, if he or she is at least 12 years old
  • The parents’ moral fitness

Additionally, the court may deny custody to a parent who has a history of domestic violence, or who has deserted or abandoned the child. On the other hand, the court may approve of a custody agreement established by both parents as long as it appropriately addresses the child’s needs and interests.

Types of Custody Arrangements in Mississippi

Mississippi recognizes two different types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody means that the child lives with the parent for a significant amount of time throughout the year, whereas legal custody means that the parent has the right to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare.

In a divorce or other child custody case, the court may award physical and legal custody to both parents, especially if the parents have agreed to these terms. Joint custody means that the child’s living arrangements will be divided between both households, and both parents will need to inform each other and consult with each other about important decisions affecting the child’s life.

However, it is also possible for the court to award physical custody, legal custody, or both, to one parent only. This may result in an arrangement in which the child splits time with both parents, but only one parent has decision-making authority or one in which the parents must consult with each other on important decisions, but the child lives entirely with one parent. If one parent is awarded primary physical custody, the other parent will often be granted visitation to see the child on a regular basis. Visitation can be restricted or require supervision if the visiting parent has a history of domestic or family violence.

Contact a Hernando, MS

Child Custody Attorney

We understand how important it is for you to stay involved in your child’s life, and we offer the legal representation you need for your child custody case whether you are working toward a cooperative agreement with the other parent or you need to argue your case for custody in a trial. Contact us at 901-388-5805 for a free phone consultation. We serve clients in Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch, Horn Lake, and throughout DeSoto County and the surrounding areas.