Child custody issues are generally decided by the “best interest of the child” standard. But how do family law courts decide what the best interest of kids is during a divorce case?
Albright Factors in Mississippi Child Custody Cases
In Mississippi, there are factors called the “Albright” factors. These factors are listed below:
- The age, health and sex of a child
- Which parent had continuing care of the child prior to separation
- Which parent has the best parenting skills
- Which parent has the willingness and capacity to provide primary childcare
- The employment responsibilities of both parents
- The physical and mental health and age of parents
- Emotional ties of the parent and child
- The parents’ moral fitness
- The child’s home, school and community record
- The preference of a child at the age of twelve (or older)
- Stability of the home environment
- Other relevant factors.
These factors are not a formula for family courts. Instead, courts look at the facts specific to each case to determine what will be the best for the child or children in the case.
Presumptions in Mississippi Child Custody Cases
There are some presumptions in Mississippi child custody cases. For example, it is now presumed that mothers and fathers are equally entitled to custody in children. Also, if both parents request joint custody, the courts presume that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. Siblings are kept together in custody decisions unless unusual situations exist.
There is also a presumption against custody to a parent who is deemed violent. If a parent has a history of family violence, or criminal violence, he or she will typically not be given custody of a child.
Article by Attorney Stephanie Woodard, Woodard Law Firm in Columbus, Mississippi
FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
Your initial phone consultation is free. We spend the time to get to know your needs and discuss your options before you sign a contract. Schedule your free consultation today!