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Mississippi Child Custody Laws

Parents must come to an agreement on child custody when they separate. States like Mississippi have their own child custody laws, and many have also adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The Uniform Enforcement Act is a federal law that mandates that each state honor and enforce child custody rulings made by courts in other states.

Under Mississippi's own laws, joint custody is permitted for separated or divorced parents, and grandparents' visitation rights are legally recognized. The court will consider the child's preferences and the child's own best interests.

Here is a brief overview of child custody laws in Mississippi.

Child Custody Statutes in Mississippi: At a Glance

Mississippi's child custody statutes are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's extensive Child Custody section for more articles and resources.

Code Section

§ 93-5-24 et seq. of the Mississippi Code

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 93-5-24 (joint custody is the rebuttable presumption in the best interests of the child)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 93-16-1 et seq.

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Mississippi Custody Hearings

In some cases, parents are able to come to their own custody arrangement and courts will normally honor those agreements. If they cannot agree, a court may have to decide on any contested custody issues in a hearing. As noted above, the primary concern for any court in creating a custody arrangement is the child's best interests. Chancery courts in Mississippi are generally able to consider any factor that could be relevant to the child's best interests, safety, and well-being.

Most “best interests" factors tend to focus on the child, like the interest in maintaining consistency and continuity in his or her family life, community, and education. Additional factors may focus on the parents, such as which parent is more able to take care of the child's daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational, and special needs, while maintaining a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child.

Get Legal Help with Child Custody

Sorting out the emotional and legal issues of child custody can be difficult. You can consult with a Mississippi family law attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a child custody matter.

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