Once a child custody order takes effect in Mississippi, you and your child’s other parent have a legal obligation to abide by that order until your child either comes of age or one of you has the order modified. To modify an existing child custody order in Mississippi, certain circumstances must exist, and there is also a specific process you must follow to do so.
Per the Mississippi Bar Association, the main determining factor in whether a Mississippi court grants you or your ex a requested child custody modification is whether a “material change in circumstances” has taken place. While any number of actions or life events might constitute a material change in circumstances, here are some examples of what might count as such.
A move to a new home
If you or your child’s other parent wishes to move to a new location, this, alone, is not typically cause for a custody modification. Instead, the parent wishing to relocate must prove to the court that the move would be in the child’s best interests for the court to grant the modification.
Proof of abuse, neglect or substance abuse
Suppose one custodial parent has developed a substance abuse problem or becomes neglectful or abusive of the child at the center of the custody matter. In that case, this may warrant a custody modification.
A change in work schedules
If, say, your ex always worked during the daytime and now works night shifts and is unable to be home with your child, this may merit a judge changing your existing custody order.
These are just a few examples of material changes in circumstances that may result in a judge modifying a child custody order.