If you have children, you are likely very concerned about what will happen to them after your divorce. Who will have custody? When will you see them? What will be the amounts of child support and alimony?
There are no hard and fast rules for answering these questions; however, there are guidelines that courts use to direct their decisions. At ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP, in Jackson, Mississippi, we have experience in negotiations and litigation of child-related issues. Our attorney, Michael Saltaformaggio, will be happy to discuss your options with you.
Getting Physical And Legal Custody | Hinds County Child Visitation Attorney
There are two main types of child custody in Mississippi: physical custody and legal custody. "Physical" custody refers to the amount of time the children reside with you. "Legal" custody refers to the degree of decision-making responsibility you exercise over the children.
Whether a child custody decision is resolved through negotiations or in court, it usually involves both of these types of custody to some degree. For instance, one parent could be granted primary physical custody (the children live with one parent most of the time), but both parents could share joint legal custody (decisions affecting the children are made jointly by both parents). Having one parent with full custody is rare. In the vast majority of situations, the parents share joint physical custody of the children.
The overriding factor in physical custody determinations is what is known as "the best interest of the child." Courts determine this according to several factors, including the age and sex of the child, the employment of the parents, the mental health of the parents, the moral fitness of the parents and the stability of the parents' homes.
Our attorney can work to obtain a fair custody and visitation arrangement that benefits you and your children.
What About Child Support?
Base child support amounts are set according to a state formula that accounts for parental adjusted gross income (AGI) and the numbers of children eligible. Support amounts greater than the base can be ordered by a judge if the paying parent's AGI is greater than $50,000. Greater amounts may also be negotiated as part of a settlement. Nevertheless, child support is determined separately from child custody.
Our lawyer can ensure that your child support amount is calculated correctly and is both fair to you and your children.
What If My Circumstances Change?
Child custody and child support can be modified if there is a substantial material change in circumstances such as a parent relocating or losing job. Our attorney can discuss your options for a post-judgment modification for child custody and/or child support.
Free Consultation | Lawyer In South Central Mississippi
For more information or a free consultation with our experienced Jackson child custody attorney, contact ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP online or at 769-218-8264 or 800-836-8631 today. We accept payment by credit card and flexible payment plans are available.