Here are five places you can turn for help creating a child custody and visitation agreement in Mississippi.
Your lawyer or a legal aid representative. This one’s obvious, but if you have a lawyer (whether paid or volunteer) that should be the first person you turn to for guidance on creating your parenting agreement. If you need help finding legal assistance, see How to Find a Child Custody Lawyer in Mississippi.
Mediation. A skilled child custody mediator can help with everything from living arrangements and visitation schedules to decision-making responsibilities and financial agreements. A mediator’s job is to help you explore all the options and settle on the best solutions for all involved, especially the kids. Here are several ways to find a qualified mediator:
- Ask people you know for referrals, especially lawyers, therapists, or friends who’ve been down this road before you.
- Contact MSLegalServices.org.
- Investigate referral services, such as www.mediate.com or www.divorcenet.com
- Check out national mediation or family law organizations, like the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the American Arbitration Association.
- Connect with your local court (see just below).
Your local court. While we recommend doing all you can to resolve custody issues without a court fight, even those committed to peaceful negotiation may find helpful resources at your local family court. Many courts have online resources or self-help centers offering materials to help put together a parenting plan.
To find your local family court, see the Hinds County family law court page.
Does Mississippi Offer a Free Parenting Plan Template?
All states but five have put together templates or guidelines you can use to draft your parenting agreement.
Does Mississippi offer parenting plan resources? NO
Unfortunately, Mississippi is a bit behind the curve and does not provide a parenting plan template or guidelines at this time. We'll check periodically and update this page if that changes. Meanwhile, we recommend you use other resources on this list to get help.
Online resources. There are many respectable internet sources to help you with custody plans. For example, you’ll find a lot of great information under Resources for Families on the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ website. In particular, look for “Parenting Plan Information.” You may also want to investigate online software for creating a parenting plan, such as the program offered by Custody X Change. In addition, the Alaska state court’s self-help resources for making a parenting plan are helpful for folks in any state.
Books. If you still like the substantial support of a good book, here are three good ones:
- Nolo’s Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support, by Emily Doskow (Nolo)
- Building a Parenting Agreement That Works: Child Custody Agreements Step by Step, by Mimi L. Zimmerman (Nolo)
- Two Homes, One Childhood: A Parenting Plan to Last a Lifetime, by Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. (Avery)
If books aren’t in your budget, you may be able to find these at your local public library.