Mississippi Child Custody Attorney Discusses Parent Representation in Child Custody Cases

When parents struggle with drug addiction or other issues, the Mississippi Department of Human Services often intervenes and removes their children from their custody. When this happens, the parents’ struggle with their issues continues, and a new battle ensues regarding child custody. Unfortunately, this dual fight does not often end in reunification of the children with their parents.

A pilot program in Rankin County and in three other Mississippi counties is hoping to change that by providing parents whose children are in the foster care system because of drug addiction or other reasons with legal representation. Parents whose children are in state custody are often unable to afford to hire an attorney. They end up trying to represent themselves in court while trying their best to fulfill the expectations that are set out for them by the Department of Human Services, which, necessarily, involve pursuing and succeeding at recovery from substance abuse or whatever other issues prompted state involvement.

When parents who are battling addiction while attempting to regain custody are given legal support and advice, they have a much better chance of success. This is likely the reason why all of the other states make attorneys available to these parents. Attorneys who represent indigent parents in child custody cases can provide parents with the information that they need to make choices that may help them to regain custody of their children. They can advocate for parents when the Department of Human Services is setting up expectations for the parents, and they can help to ensure that the expectations are reasonable, so that parents are not essentially set up to fail. If family members who can provide a suitable home for the children are available, an attorney can advocate for that placement to be made. They can also help their clients get into facilities where they can get the treatment that they need.

The results of the pilot program in Mississippi look promising, and more counties are slated to become involved. Reunification is happening more often. Children are spending more time being cared for by family members, and less time in the foster care system. The legal advice and information that the parents have been receiving has led to parents thinking about how they can best solve their problems and making more choices that keep them on track to be reunited with their children.

Child custody cases are often difficult and complex matters, in addition to being highly emotional experiences. A Mississippi Family Law Attorney can help you to understand your child custody case and provide you with legal support and the information that you need in order to make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case. Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole has helped many parents in diverse sets of circumstances to navigate child custody cases, and he may be able to help you, too. Please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Child Custody Attorney Discusses Parent Representation in Child Custody Cases
Mississippi Child Custody Attorney explains the importance of parent representation in Mississippi child custody cases.