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Child Custody: What is in the Child’s Best Interest?

In child custody cases, nearly all courts make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. Missississippi is no exception to this law. However, it can be confusing trying to determine what a court considers is in the child’s best interest.

When you are going through a custody case, it is essential to understand what the courts look at when they decide the custody of a child. Knowing this information can help you protect your child’s needs and rights.

What Factors are in the Child’s Best Interests?

When courts state they want what is in the best interests of the child, they are referring to the deliberation that they undertake when they decide what type of services, actions, and orders will best serve the child and who is the best person to care for the child.

Each situation is unique in child custody cases, and courts will look at a range of factors to determine custody. Mississipi law specifically uses the Albright factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child. These factors include:

  • Age, health, and sex of the child

  • Determination of the parent that had the continuity of care prior to the separation

  • The parenting skills of each parent

  • The parent’s willingness and capacity to provide primary child care

  • The employment of the parent and responsibilities of that employment

  • Physical and mental health and age of the parents

  • Emotional ties of the parent and child

  • The moral fitness of the parents

  • The home, school, and community record of the child

  • The preference of the child at the age sufficient to express a preference by law

  • Stability of home environment and employment of each parent

  • Other factors relevant to the parent-child relationship

Typically, judges will favor situations that allow the child the opportunity to have a loving and close relationship with both of their parents. In this case, the best option would be a joint custody arrangement. However, joint-custody isn't always the best option, and one parent might receive sole physical custody. In this situation, the other parent will still have the right to visit the child.

Ultimately, the custody arrangement should foster and encourage the child's happiness, sense of security, mental and physical health, and emotional development. If it does this, then it is in the child's best interest.

If you are going through a custody case, it is crucial that you are well-represented in the process so that the court has an accurate image of you and your parenting abilities. Our Mississippi child custody attorneys are here represent you in this difficult time.

Call Hancock Law Firm today at (601) 843-0985 for help protecting your family’s rights.

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