In initial child custody determinations in Mississippi, the Judge will apply the Albright factors to determine child custody. Judges can weight some factors more than others. It is possible for a party to have more factors in their favor and still be deprived of custody because the Judge considered a few or just one single factor more important than the others. Also, the polestar consideration, in all child custody cases, is the best interest and welfare of the child.
The factors are as follows:
- The age, health, and sex of the child;
- The parent that has had the continuity of care prior to the separation;
- The parenting skills of each parent and the parent that has the willingness and capacity to provide primary child care;
- The employment of each parent and the responsibilities of that employment;
- The physical and mental health of the parents;
- The emotional ties between parent and child;
- The moral fitness of the parents;
- The home, school and community record of the child;
- The preference of a child of the age* sufficient to express a preference by law;
- The stability of the home environment and employment of each parent; and
- The other factors relevant to the parent-child relationship.
*12 years of age and older
Albright v. Albright, 437 So. 2d 1003, 1005 (Miss. 1983)