Child Custody and Court Considered Living Arrangements in Mississippi

Mississippi courts typically render determinations about child custody and visitation based upon the specific living arrangements of the parties to the marriage.  In general, the standard that the court uses in making this decision varies based upon each parent’s unique set of circumstances.  Although considerations tend to vary by state, judges in Mississippi – especially when faced with a challenge by one party about the living arrangement of the other – tend to consider the following when determining child custody and visitation:

  1. The age and sex of the child – Specifically, if a parent is of the opposite gender of his or her child, a judge will expect that the living situation is conducive to the child’s need for privacy.  Additionally, older children tend to need more space than their younger counterparts.
  2. The number of children to the marriage – if the parties to a marriage have multiple children, a judge will expect them to have enough space to accommodate their children’s needs in this regard, especially for overnight visits.
  3. The parents’ individual set of circumstances – a judge in Mississippi will definitely consider the financial resources of each party when determining child custody and an appropriate living situation for the children.  For instance, a parent who is responsible for paying child support and/or alimony may be able to afford less given these expenses.  Hence, a judge may be more flexible with this parent regarding their living situation.
  4. The adjustability of the children – children who are used to being in a bigger space may experience difficulty in adapting to a smaller home environment.  A Mississippi judge will consider whether this may have any emotional effects on the children given the potential for a drastic change in their living circumstances.  However, a judge will examine this with the best interests of the children in mind, which presumes that even if a house is smaller, it will still afford the children with meaningful time with their parent.
  5. The safety and welfare of the children – a Mississippi judge will most likely want to know that the children will be residing in a safe home and community.  If there is a chance of harm to the children due to a parent residing in a questionable neighborhood, overnight visits may as a result, be limited.

If you are interested in getting a divorce in Mississippi, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  Only a skilled attorney can help you fully understand what your legal options are, the nature and extent of your rights and responsibilities, and how to maximize your chances of getting what you want out of your divorce.  Give us a call now – we look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

Contact Mississippi divorce attorney Matthew S. Poole for a consultation by calling (601) 573-7429 today. 


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