Posts Tagged ‘Matthew S. Poole’

Winning Child Custody in Mississippi

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

It is essential for parents seeking to get sole physical custody of their children to understand the custody laws of their state – especially in order to prepare themselves for demonstrating that they are the “better” parent for purposes of child custody.   In Mississippi, it is particularly important to consider that the court will analyze child custody using the best interest standard, which may or may not result in you being awarded sole custody.   As such, hiring an experienced Mississippi family law attorney to help you is certainly ideal, as they are experienced in handling these types of cases and also, in zealously advocating the wishes of their client during the divorce process.

Many parents challenge custody with the desire of obtaining sole physical custody of their children.  Usually, parents argue for this form of custody due to their concerns about the fitness and ability of the other parent to house and care for their children.  Regardless of the reason for pursuing sole custody, it is crucial to understand that there is a high burden to overcome when trying to prove one’s entitlement to sole custody in Mississippi.  In other words, Mississippi courts, in awarding sole custody, will require a showing by the party seeking sole custody that he or she is a better parent than the other.  Moreover, Mississippi judges tend to be reluctant in causing anything to get in the way of a parent’s relationship with their children given the presumption that both parents are equally capable of caring for their children. As such, a party seeking sole custody must make a showing that they are better suited to care for the children and more able to meet their individualized needs.

How then, can you prove that you are the better parent for purposes of getting sole custody?  Typically, a Mississippi court will analyze your children’s sleeping patterns, daily routines, extra-curricular activities and other factors when making this determination.  The more you demonstrate your ability to support and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for your children, the more likely a court will take notice of this in rendering a custody decision.  Mississippi courts will also consider the emotional stability of the children.   Meaning, they will examine how the children fair with each parent and how well adapted they are to being with them.  Additionally, they will also take into consideration whether the parent seeking sole custody has appropriately addressed the emotional needs of the children, such as getting them counseling or other types of therapy in the event that they are struggling.

If you are interested in getting a divorce, it is essential to speak with a Mississippi family law attorney capable of handling these types of cases.  Only a skilled attorney can help you determine what your legal options are, the nature and extent of your rights and responsibilities, and how to optimize your chances of getting what you want out of your divorce case.  Give us a call now – we look forward to providing you with excellent representation.

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

Getting an Annulment in Mississippi

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

While getting a divorce simply terminates the marriage, an annulment in Mississippi takes it one step further by declaring that the marriage never existed in the first place.   Essentially, the effect of an annulment puts the” annulled” parties back to the status of single or unmarried status, and generally can apply to marriages of varying durations.  Moreover, each state’s laws govern the divorce process and also, who is eligible based upon one’s residency and various other requirements.  Despite the fact that divorce laws across the country contain some legal commonalities, they nonetheless tend to be nuanced.  As for the legal process associated with getting an annulment, it is not as state specific as the divorce process, and usually falls within two classifications – a void or voidable marriage.

So then, what is the difference between a void and voidable marriage?  A void marriage is one that lacks a legal foundation, meaning, that it never existed for any purpose and is a complete nullity.  Usually, void marriages enable the parties to walk away from the failed union without the necessity for a court order.  However, an annulment can be helpful to parties of a void marriage given that it can assist them in dividing property and determining child custody, if applicable.  Additionally, any interested party make seek an annulment of a void marriage, with said marriage potentially subject to collateral attack (i.e. in actions other than for an annulment such as probate proceedings), even following the death of one of the parties.  Overall, a void marriage typically cannot be ratified by the parties.   Prime examples of a void marriage are those that arise where one party is already married to another (i.e. bigamy) or, the parties are too closely related to each other, also known as consanguinity.

Unlike a void marriage, a voidable marriage has a legally sufficient foundation and as such, must be severed by a court order.  In other words, if the marriage is voidable, it may be declared invalid by a court due to an impediment that existed at the time of the marriage.  Moreover, an annulment of a voidable marriage can only be brought by the spouses to the union and also, cannot be collaterally attacked by either person or third parties.  Voidable marriages can be ratified by the parties to the union and ordinarily occur if the parties lack the requisite age to marry (most states require the parties to be at least 18 years old) or capacity, due to issues of intoxication, mental incompetence, duress or fraud.

If you are considering getting an annulment in Mississippi, it is best to consult with an attorney experienced in handling the various nuances and complexities associated with these types of cases.  Give us a give us a call now to learn more about your legal options and the nature of your rights and responsibilities. We look forward to providing you with excellent representation.

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