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Helping You Through The Child Custody Process

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce is determining a child custody and support arrangement. While you want the best for your child, you also want to maintain your rights to parent them. You need to work with an experienced child custody attorney to advocate for your best interests and protect your family.

At Matthew Gilmer & Associates LLC, founding attorney Matthew Wade Gilmer has over ten years of experience helping families in the Gulfport, Mississippi, area come to child custody arrangements. He understands how overwhelming the custody process can be, especially when you already face a divorce. When you work with him, he will always tenaciously fight for your rights and interests.

Types Of Child Custody In Mississippi

In Mississippi, parents can obtain legal or physical custody, or both. Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live or spend time with. Legal custody grants decision making power to one or both parents. Parents with legal custody make decisions regarding their child’s education, health care, religious upbringing and welfare.

There are numerous custody arrangements that Mississippi can grant, including joint physical custody, sole physical custody, sole legal custody and joint legal custody. The custody arrangement will depend on numerous factors and will take into consideration any agreements the parents have come to on their own, as long as it meets the best interests of the child.

Understanding The Child Custody Process

When you file for divorce, child custody is one of the first and most important determinations. In some contested divorce cases, the court will enter a temporary custody order until a full hearing and decision can be reached.

The court will always consider the best interests of the child as the first priority when determining child custody. They will consider numerous factors, including:

  • The child’s age and health
  • Which parent took care of the children before the divorce
  • Parenting skills and capacity to provide primary child care
  • The parents’ employment
  • Parent’s age, physical health and mental health
  • Emotional ties between each parent and the child
  • Moral fitness
  • The preference of the child if the child is over 12 years old
  • The stability of the home

While the court can always intervene, you can avoid a lengthy and difficult trial by working through your disagreements through mediation or other alternative dispute resolutions methods. In many cases, the court will require you to attempt mediation before ordering a trial. In uncontested no-fault divorces, both parents must agree on the custody arrangements to file for their divorce.

When life changes, you can modify your custody arrangements by showing a material change in circumstances that could negatively affect the welfare of your child. You must also show that the change would be in the best interest of your child.

Get Started On Your Case

You do not have to go through the child custody process alone. Working with an experienced attorney can help you protect yourself and your child. To schedule a free consultation at Matthew Gilmer & Associates LLC, call 228-215-1385 or fill out an online contact form.