Mississippi Child Custody & Mississippi Child Support
UPDATED: February 16, 2020
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Mississippi courts, like family courts in all states, encourage parents to work together to agree to the details of raising their children after a divorce. If the parents are unable to come to such an agreement on friendly terms, then the court will step in and decide the issues of child custody, visitation rights, and child support, and will do so with the best interests of the children in mind. The following are the laws governing Mississippi child custody and support.
Mississippi Child Custody:
Mississippi courts determine all custody issues in terms of the best interests of the children. The court will consider all relevant facts and give the father and mother the same consideration regardless of the child’s sex or age. Sole custody or joint custody are both possibilities, as is custody being awarded to a third-party guardian – again, the deciding factor is the child’s best interest. As part of this determination, the court will consider:
- The child’s wishes (if s/he is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference),
- The results of any investigation (upon showing of good cause) into the care and welfare of the parties’ minor children,
- The testimony of any person or expert produced by any party or the court itself who can testify as to what is best for the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual well-being of the child, and
- The occurrence of any family violence. The perpetrator of the violence faces a rebuttable presumption that their sole or even joint custody of the child would be detrimental. The “rebuttable presumption” means that the court’s operating presumption is that the perpetrator should not have custody at all (whereas, if there were no such presumption, the parties would stand equally before the court), and it is up to the perpetrator to meet the burden of proof necessary to overcome this presumption.
Mississippi Child Support:
Mississippi courts use the Percentage of Income formula to calculate how much a parent must provide for support of the child or children. The court requires a parent to pay a certain percentage of his or her income for child support. The percentage is based on the number of children. For example, a non-custodial parent with one child might be required to pay 20% of his or her net income as child support. In some situations both parents may be required to pay child support.
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising your kids after a divorce, and can also serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:
Mississippi Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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