Jackson Family Attorney
Divorce, Child Custody & Other Family Law Matters
Whether your family law issues arise from a decision to file for divorce, or if you have complex child custody or child support concerns, an experienced Jackson family attorney can assist you. At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC we have years of experience assisting clients with matters involving children. We know how delicate these legal issues can be, and we are committed to offering compassionate guidance in all matters involving children. At our firm, protecting your family is one of our top priorities, and we are dedicated to solving family law issues as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
- Annulment & Divorce
- Asset & Debt Division
- Child Custody
- Child Custody & Divorce
- Child Support
- Child Support Modification
- Grandparents’ Rights
- Uncontested Divorce
Going through divorce is a stressful process for everyone involved. Thinking about going through divorce can be unpleasant and upsetting, but it is important to know that at Derek L. Hall, PC you will have a strong advocate on your side. We represent men and women in divorce and family law matters in Jackson and throughout the surrounding Mississippi areas. We help our clients understand the divorce process and make sure they have the information they need to make an informed decision. Derek Hall is well aware of the effect that divorce and custody battles can have on a child. He has a background in counseling psychology and can assist in making long-term decisions that affect you, your family and your children.
Even if you are just contemplating a divorce, it is important to talk to our Jackson family law attorney. We will ask questions so we have a full understanding of the situation you are facing and can present different legal options that you can consider. You can trust that we will stand by your side.
Learning More About Family Law Matters in Jackson, MS
What kinds of family law cases do we handle frequently? Our firm represents clients in a wide variety of family law matters, including but not limited to:
- Child custody;
- Grandparent visitation;
- Domestic violence; and
At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC our experience in the field of family law allows us to understand the complexity of these cases and to focus on a personalized approach to every issue. We know that every family is different, and that even child custody and visitation cases have their own sets of facts and circumstances. A dedicated Jackson family law attorney can speak with you today about your case and begin working on an advocacy plan tailored to your needs.
Child Custody and Child Support
Child custody and child support are two primary family law matters in which we commonly represent clients. Whether your child custody case arises from a divorce or not, we can advocate for you and ensure that your voice is heard in court. Sections 93-5-23 and 93-5-24 of the Mississippi Code are the laws responsible for the custody of children and child custody orders. When the court makes decisions about child custody, it will focus on an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child.
A judge can take into account many different factors in deciding what is in the child’s best interest, including but not limited to:
- Existing relationship between the parent(s) and the child;
- Ability for the parent(s) to provide necessary care for the child;
- Economic stability of each parent; and
- Ability for each parent to guide the child’s emotional and ethical development.
Adoption and Visitation in Mississippi
In addition to child custody matters, we often receive questions about adoption and visitation. We regularly assist clients who are seeking to adopt a child, focusing on the best way to obtain a termination of parental rights from the child’s biological father while also keeping the child’s emotional and psychological interests in focus.
We also frequently help grandparents who are seeking visitation rights. In some cases, often when one parent passes away, the grandparents will seek visitation. If the grandparents can prove that they have a viable relationship with their grandchildren, the court may grant visitation, assuming that it is in the best interests of the grandchildren.
Understanding The Divorce Process
The divorce process can be complex. Given the complexities that can arise with property division, division of assets and addressing child custody issues — we make it a priority to act quickly and efficiently when representing our clients. We gather the facts, look at different options we can pursue and do what we need to do in order to make sure our clients’ rights are protected. We help with all parts of the divorce process, including:
- Determining equitable property division
- Calculating alimony
- Dividing debts
- Dividing a business
- Determining which parent is best to have custody of the children
Taking Care Of The Kids
Many of our divorce clients also face issues involving child custody and child support, and other issues involving children. We offer compassionate guidance for these sensitive issues and will help resolve disputes as quickly as possible. Protecting your family is a top priority at our firm.
Jackson Family Law & Divorce FAQs
Going through a divorce, custody dispute or other family law matter can be a stressful experience, especially if you don’t know your rights or what to expect. Here are answers to common questions about divorce and other family law matters in Mississippi. If you have other questions, or if you need representation in a family law matter in Jackson, call Derek L. Hall, PC at 601-202-2222.
Q. Do my spouse and I have to go to court to get divorced? I don’t want to fight.
A. A divorce does not have to be a fight. If you and your spouse can work out all the issues between you, then you can obtain a divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences without having to go through any litigation. You must submit to the judge a written agreement on all the issues in the divorce (child custody, alimony, property division, etc.), or agree to let the judge decide any contested issues. If the judge reviews your agreement and decides that it is fair, then the court will grant your divorce.
If there are contested issues in your divorce, it is in your best interests to hire a lawyer to represent you. Even with a lawyer, your divorce need not be a battle, but what matters most is that your rights and interests – and those of your children – are properly represented in the final outcome.
Q. Can we get an annulment instead of a divorce?
A. A divorce is the dissolution of a legal marriage; an annulment is an official declaration that the marriage was never valid in the first place. The grounds for an annulment are very specific and not always available. For instance, an annulment may be available in the case of incurable impotency, if one of the parties has been legally declared incompetent or mentally ill, or if one party was incapable of consent due to age or lack of understanding. An annulment can also be sought if a person was tricked or forced into marriage, if the woman was pregnant with another man’s child, or if the marriage cannot be consummated, but an annulment on these grounds must be sought within six months of the marriage. Also, if the parties did not follow the legal requirements for obtaining a marriage license and did not later solemnize their marriage and cohabitate, the marriage may be annulled.
A couple in any of the above situations may continue to live as a married couple if they choose to. A bigamous or incestuous marriage, on the other hand, is void from the very start and is never valid.
Q. My new husband wants to adopt my kids, but I’m afraid their father may object, even though he is not involved in their lives. What can we do?
A. If your husband were to adopt your kids, it would require a termination of parental rights for the children’s biological father. If he does not choose to voluntarily relinquish those rights, you would have to go to court and prove that grounds exist to terminate his parental rights. Such grounds might be available if he deserted you and cannot be found or is considered to have abandoned his children. If the father had no contact for six months with a child under three years old, or no contact for a year with an older child, this may be grounds for termination of parental rights. Also, if there were a series of abusive incidents or sexual abuse involving a child, you may be able to terminate parental rights. There will need to be a hearing in court, and the father has a right to be at that hearing and challenge any proposed termination of his rights.
Q. Can parents keep grandparents away from seeing their grandchildren, or can the grandparents demand a right to visitation?
A. If a parent has died, been denied custody of the children, or had his or her parental rights terminated, then the grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights. If none of these circumstances exist but a parent is denying access to the grandchildren, the grandparents would need to prove that they have a viable relationship with their grandchildren but are being unreasonably denied access to them. A viable relationship means that they have had frequent contact with the grandchildren, including occasional overnight visits, for a year or more, or they cared for the grandchildren while the parent was in jail or serving military duty. The grandparents must also prove that they provide some measure of financial support to the grandchildren for at least six months. Finally, the court must determine that visitation is in the best interests of the grandchildren. Whether you are seeking visitation or wish to deny access, you should get legal representation to help you through this adversarial process and courtroom hearing.
Jackson Family Law & Divorce Attorneys Serving Hinds, Madison and Rankin County
At Derek L. Hall, PC we will guide you and your family through the legal processes involved in your divorce, child custody, property division or family law matter. To schedule a free initial consultation, please contact our Jackson family law & divorce attorneys at 601-202-2222.