The Albright Factors: How child custody is determined in court

| Apr 27, 2021 | Child Custody |

When it comes to custody actions between the parents of a child, the courts consider the child’s best interests. The courts use the factors highlighted in the Albright v Albright case, but other circumstances are considered in child custody decisions as well. If you are a Mississippi resident and facing a divorce, here are some important things you should know about child custody.

Rules regarding custody

Presumably, mothers and fathers have equal rights when it comes to child custody. The maternal preference was replaced by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1983 to achieve parental equity in the court system with the Albright v Albright case. Other cases in Mississippi, such as Blevins v Bardwell in 2001, emphasized the notion that the ‘tender years’ doctrine is still a factor for assigning child custody matters. The courts concluded that neither natural parent has more rights than the other in custody matters. Both parents should be charged with caring for, nurturing, and providing education for children.

The rule of equality

The rule of equality was reaffirmed in 2018 by the court of appeals when a chancellor awarded custody of a boy and girl, ages three and two, to their father. The chancellor concluded that the gender and age of the children were not factors that automatically made the mother a more suitable parent in a child custody case. This emphasized that the Mississippi courts do not support the idea that the mother is, by default, the best caregiver.

Child custody matters can be complex depending on a divorcing couple’s situation. Unmarried parents often need assistance with custody hearings as well. An experienced family law attorney can assist you throughout the custody proceedings to ensure that a decision is made that is in favor of your child(ren)’s health and wellbeing.