Children are unique individuals with specific needs and passions. No two Gulf Coast children are the same, even if they share parents and similar upbringings. To generalize that all children need the same types of support and resources to be successful and to thrive is impossible. Like adults, children are diverse and require different necessities.
Parents are the primary providers for children’s needs, and when parents go through divorces their abilities to meet their children’s requirements may be stressed. In order to ensure that children are well cared for despite their parents’ divorces, courts evaluate their best interests when making child custody determinations. This post does not offer any legal advice and introduces some of the ways that courts evaluate children’s best interests for the purposes of child custody decisions.
Evaluating a child’s best interests
When making a decision about custody for a specific child, a court must decide what a specific child needs. If the child has special educational, medical, or social requirements that are more suited to be addressed by one parent, then that parent may receive custody of the child to ensure those needs are met. If a child as a strong bond with their school or community and custody with a parent would mean moving to a new place, a court may choose to keep the child in the place where they are comfortable and thriving.
In Mississippi children cannot offer their preferences on child custody; however, parents can work together to make child custody agreements instead of having the courts set them up during hearings. Individuals can talk to their family law attorneys about this process.
Accepting a child custody plan
Once a court issues its determination regarding the custody of a child, parents must follow the terms of the order or accepted agreement. However, when the needs of children change, or when the ability of a parent to care for their child is altered, child custody decisions can be modified. The modification process requires specific legal steps, and individuals interested in pursuing it can work with knowledgeable family law attorneys for case-specific support.