Parents going through a divorce may be very concerned about how much time they will get to spend with their child once the split is complete. Knowing that you will probably not see your child every single day post-divorce can be upsetting, so it is important to have a basic understanding of child custody laws in Mississippi.
Types of custody in Mississippi
There are two types of child custody under Mississippi law. Physical custody is where the child lives on a day-to-day basis. Physical custody is joint if the child spends the same amount of time with each parent. However, joint physical custody is not always possible depending on each parents’ work schedule and how far apart they live from each other. In this and other cases one parent will have sole physical custody of the child and the other parent will have visitation rights.
Legal custody is the second type of child custody under Mississippi law. Legal custody grants a parent the ability to make key life decisions on behalf of the child. This can include decisions regarding the child’s health care, education and what religion the child will be introduced to. Like physical custody, legal custody can be joint or sole.
The best interests of the child standard
When making child custody decisions the judge will consider first and foremost what is in the best interests of the child. For example, the court will consider the child’s health and gender, which parent was the child’s primary caregiver, each parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child, the emotional bond between the child and each parent and each parent’s moral fitness when determining what is in the child’s best interests. If the child is age 12 or older, their preference may be considered as well.
Learn more about child custody in Mississippi
Parents going through a divorce may feel very vulnerable and worried about their future with their child. It is important that these parents understand their child custody rights. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on child custody in Mississippi may be of interest to parents in Gulfport who are going through a divorce and need guidance.