Mississippi’s Child Relocation Laws: The Need to Know Basics
Imagine that a husband (Tim) and his wife (Laura) live in Mississippi with their daughter (Sally). The family lives together in Mississippi for many years until one day Tim and Laura determine that their marriage simply isn’t working anymore and decide to get divorced. After their divorce is finalized Laura decides that she would like to move back to her home state of California and she tells Tim that she is taking Sally with her. Tim has no interest in moving to California and is outraged that his ex-wife wants to move his daughter out of state without his consent. According to Mississippi’s child relocation laws, can Laura legally move Sally to another state? Can Tim stop her? Unfortunately this area of the law is extremely complicated and the answers to these questions depend on a variety of factors, however, the most determinative factor in a case like this often the child(ren)’s custody arrangement.
Why the Child(ren)’s Custody Arrangement is Important
When one parent wants to relocate their child(ren) out of state over the other parent’s objections the first question that needs to be asked is simple: who has custody of the child(ren)? Generally speaking, a parent in Mississippi has the right to take their child(ren) out of state if there is no custody order in place. However, this area of the law has been evolving over the past few years so be sure to consult with a local family law attorney about the current state of the law before moving your children out of Mississippi.
If there is a child custody arrangement in place, check to see if that order contains a clause prohibiting the custodial parent from relocating the child(ren) to another state. Relocation provisions can be amended, but the custodial parent will need to petition the court to do so. When evaluating whether or not to allow the child(ren) to be relocated out of Mississippi the court typically considers several factors including the following:
- Will the move improve the child’s quality of life? What about the custodial parent’s quality of life?
- Does the custodial parent want to relocate the child just to punish the non-custodial parent?
- What objections has the non-custodial parent raised?
- Is it possible to compensate for the relocation by affording the non-custodial parent extended periods of visitation with the child(ren)?
Let Us Help You with Your Case
Any parent who has case specific questions about Mississippi’s child relocation laws should be sure to consult with a local family law attorney before moving their child(ren) out of state. When making such a move it is important to know your legal rights and to make sure that you don’t overstep. To discuss your rights and options with an experienced attorney contact Derek L. Hall, PLLC, The Heavy Hitter. Our Jackson based team handles cases throughout Mississippi and would be happy to schedule a free initial consultation for you. Give us a call today at (601) 202-2222.