Southaven Family Law Attorneys Helping Clients Who Are Filing for Joint Custody

Southaven, Hernando and Olive Branch divorce attorneys guiding families beyond the conflict since 1964

Child custody is one of those issues that creates the most tension between divorcing couples. They brought a child into the world and created a family together. However, when the marriage ended, each party wanted to have custody of the child. Unfortunately, some parents get so caught up in the adversarial nature of divorce that they begin to see child custody as just another issue to battle over rather than taking a step back and looking at what would be the best solution for the child.

The family law lawyers at Taylor Jones Taylor have the benefit of more than 50 years of experience helping families resolve their custody disputes. The firm has seen it all and their clients benefit from the wisdom and knowledge they have gained not only about guiding families in crisis, but about the law and the workings of the judicial system. The firm maintains offices in Southaven, Olive Branch and Hernando to better serve families throughout the region.

Joint custody is the arrangement that allows both parents as much time with their child as possible. Both parents share the decision making authority for the child, and the child typically lives with one parent and has visitation with the other.

What factors does the court consider in deciding child custody?

When a couple is divorcing, they can come to a decision about custody on their own. If the parents are unable to agree upon a custody arrangement, the court will make a decision for them and then issue a custody order. Some of the factors that the court uses to decide child custody include the following:

  • The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child
  • Each parents ability to care for their child
  • The health condition (physical and mental) of each of the parties
  • Work schedules for each parent
  • The discipline style of each parent
  • History or abuse or neglect
  • If the child is age 12 or older, the court may take their preferences into consideration
  • Many other factors depending on the circumstances of the case

The court looks at all of these factors to try to come to a determination of what would be the arrangement that would be most conducive to the child’s health, wellbeing and happiness. If the court believes that they could benefit from it, the judge may order parents to take parenting classes before the divorce is finalized. The challenge is for parents to learn how to successfully co-parent their child with a person with whom they had a failed relationship. Once the marriage has ended, the parents must find a way to work with one another to create as harmonious an arrangement as possible. Sometimes in situations where one of the parties seems to thrive on conflict, a harmonious arrangement is not possible. In these cases, the co-parents might choose to limit their contact with one another. They might choose to do pick-ups and drop-offs in a neutral location rather than at either home.

Visitation and the rights of the non-residential parent

In a typical joint custody arrangement, the child will live with one parent while the other parent has visitation on specified weekends, vacations, holidays, summer and school breaks. They can work together to develop a parenting plan, which will document the visitation schedule, the child’s school vacation and holiday calendar, and it contains information about the child’s health, education, religious training (if applicable) sporting activities and other extracurricular activities.

The non-custodial parent has the right to regular contact with the child between visits, and they have the right to access the child’s health records, school records and any other important information about the child’s life. If a dispute develops between the co-parents with regard to non-residential parent’s access to the child, or enforcement of the visitation schedule in the parenting plan, Mississippi has an Access and Visitation Program that can provide mediation services to help families resolve their disputes and they can also assist with arrangements for supervised visitation if that should be required.

Joint custody tends to be the default option when it takes into consideration the best interests of the child. If you are a parent who is thinking about divorce, but you are also worried about what kind of custody arrangement will be appropriate in your situation, the experienced family law team at Taylor Jones Taylor is here to answer your questions and offer sound, legal advice based on your particular case.

Schedule a consultation with a compassionate Southaven family law attorney today

The conflict of divorce can be devastating for all concerned. The family law lawyers at Taylor Jones Taylor are here to help you find workable solutions. You are welcome to call 662-342-1300, or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your child custody goals. The firm helps families just like yours throughout Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch, Horn Lake, Walls, Senatobia, and Coldwater. How can we help you today?