Custody, Support and Visitation
Every parent does their best to look out for the best interest of their children. Custody disputes usually arise during or after a tumultuous break up, when parents have trouble agreeing on anything. That is why you need an attorney who understands your legal rights and responsibilities and who will try to keep the peace in negotiating a settlement. Negotiating a settlement is not only almost always in the client’s best interest, but also the children's best interest as well. Mississippi does allow an individual to try to resolve custody disputes without an attorney. However, any mistake could have lasting effects on your custody rights. The stakes are too high to risk making critical errors in your custody case. You need to hire a professional attorney to protect your rights.
As a family-law attorney, my philosophy is to try to negotiate a settlement rather than go through the protracted and expensive process of a trial in the Mississippi Chancery Court system. However, I am a strong advocate for the rights of my client and if the only way to preserve those rights is to go to trial then I will advise my client as such and fight vigorously for them in court. However, trial increases the amount of attorney’s fees and the stress on the client. I feel it is important that I focus on doing what is best for my client rather than maximizing the amount of my fee. Not all attorneys think that way, but I try to make it a fundamental part of my practice. By treating the client fairly and doing my best to keep the fee reasonable, I ensure that the client will refer others to me and also come back my firm for all of there legal needs.
I represent both mothers and fathers in custody disputes in Madison, Jackson and its surrounding areas, throughout the State of Mississippi and Louisiana as well. I have a thorough understanding of the laws on custody in both Mississippi and Louisiana. Having studied in Louisiana and practiced in Louisiana before relocating to Mississippi and passing the Mississippi bar exam, I have a good understanding of the laws of both states and how they interact. If you have a case where a child or parent has moved across the state line, I am in an excellent position to handle your case.
Custody and Visitation Determinations In Mississippi
As with other family-law issues, Mississippi Law allows and even encourages parents to work out their own agreement regarding custody, visitation and financial support of their minor children. This agreement must then be signed by a Chancery Court Judge in order to be effective. The Judge can order the parents to negotiate, mediate or in some fashion attempt to settle their disagreements without the court intervening. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will make the decisions regarding custody, visitation, and financial support of the minor children. The courts main concern in making these determinations is the best interest of the children. The best interest of the children is called the polestar of custody determinations and there is an established list of factors that the judge goes through to determine the best interests of the child.
Modifying Custody, Visitation, and Child Support Agreements
In Mississippi a custody, visitation and support order can be modified when there is a “material change in circumstances.” The court determines what is or isn’t a material change in circumstances. However, parents are free to agree upon which circumstances will constitute a material change by providing for that in their settlement agreement. They are also free to provide that the agreement will be negotiated again when the child reaches a certain age. By negotiate a custody, visitation and support settlement agreement, parents can more freely provide for things like modification of the agreement.
Custody, Visitation and Child Support Attorney in Mississippi
Custody, visitation and support of children can be difficult issues to resolve whether or not the parents are also going through a divorce. It is important to know that these issues can be resolved without a mean spirited battle over the children. If you need the assistance of an attorney to resolve these issues or modify a previous agreement, contact Attorney WIlliam C. Coon by calling 601.898.0400 or stoping by the Madison, MS office.