Many parents believe that only they know what is best for their child. However, if parents choose to get divorced, the court hearing the case may be required to use its own judgment when making decisions regarding child custody. The court will always focus on the best interests of the child, doing whatever it can to make sure the child is happy, healthy, and has a stable living environment.
As the court makes its determinations, it will consider several factors relating to the child’s parents, upbringing, relationships, and needs to make sure that the arrangement it comes up with is in the best interests of the child.
What factors are considered for custody?
Figuring out a child custody arrangement that serves the best interests of a child they do not know personally can be challenging for any family law judge. Fortunately, under Mississippi law, there are multiple factors courts must consider when making physical and legal custody decisions. Some of these custody factors include:
- Physical and mental health of each parent.
- Needs of the child (relating to child’s health, education, extracurriculars, emotional stability, etc.).
- Parent’s involvement in child’s life prior to the divorce.
- Parent’s desire to remain active in the child’s life.
- Parents’ ability to work together in a civil manner when it comes to raising their child.
- Income levels and earning capacity of each parent.
- Child’s preference (if child is 12 or older).
These are just a few of the factors court may consider, but the court can use its discretion when evaluating what arrangement is truly in the best interest of the child. An attorney can also help prioritize your child, while making sure that your child custody and support arrangement is best suited for your family.