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What is the Albright analysis?

The state of Mississippi uses the Albright analysis for determining the custodial parent of a child. The state moved from being a mother state to focusing solely on the best interests of the child which includes joint custody and third-party custody. The court uses twelve factors in its analysis.

The Mississippi Bar outlines the changes propagated by the 1983 Mississippi Supreme Court Decision in the Albright v Albright case. Both parents jointly share natural guardianship regarding education, care, welfare and nurture for their minor children. The welfare and interests of the child are the primary concern of the court in making a custody decision.

The court uses 12 factors during the custody hearing. The relevant factors focus on the ability of the parents to care for their children from their employment responsibilities to their mental and physical health. At the age of 12, children can make their own preferences known, but the court still considers their record with the community, home and school along with their ties with each parent.

However, the Albright analysis does not come without potential issues as in the 2017 Sanders v Sanders case. The mother received primary custody of the couple’s daughter. The father appealed the decision citing “a flawed Albright analysis.” The court ended up affirming the original decision because they found nothing wrong with the original analysis.

This case does have some unusual circumstances because the mother was originally from Japan. However, the court found no reason to believe the assertion that the mother would take the child out of the country. Appealing a custody decision is possible but may not result in a change of decision.

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