Parenting Plans (Custody Agreements) in Mississippi

Parenting plans help you manage parenting apart.

Mississippi requires parents who reach an agreement to create a parenting plan. With the court's approval, it becomes your final custody order.

If you can't agree, presenting a plan to the court on your own is a good way to illustrate what you believe is best for your child. The judge may adopt some or all of your plan as part of the final custody order if it satisfies the Albright factors (also called the child's best interest factors).

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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Parenting plan templates

A parenting plan template provides structure.

You can use one like the Custody X Change parenting plan template. You'll select provisions from more than two dozen categories to fill out your plan. The result will be a printable, court-ready document.

Mississippi courts do not provide their own templates, but they accept plans made with Custody X Change.

You can also work without a template and create your own parenting plan from scratch. Qualified applicants can use the Mississippi Access and Visitation Program for help creating a plan.

Required parenting plan topics

These five topics are required in a Mississippi parenting plan.

Physical custody

Physical custody designates whom the children will live with.

Sole physical custody means one parent is responsible for providing their child's residence. The noncustodial parent almost always gets visitation.

Joint physical custody means both parents are responsible for providing their child's residences. They don't necessarily spend equal time with the child.

In either situation, include a parenting time schedule that outlines exactly when your child will be with each parent.

Legal custody

Legal custody grants a parent the right to make major decisions for their child about things like school, extracurriculars and religion. Parents can make day-to-day decisions when the child is with them even if they don't have legal custody.

Sole legal custody gives one parent the right to make all major decisions.

Joint legal custody means parents must collaborate to make major decisions.

Child support

Use Mississippi's child support guidelines to determine which parent should pay support and how much.

You and the other parent may agree to deviate from the guidelines. If so, have your plan notarized. The judge will only approve if they believe the support amount is appropriate for the child.

Medical costs

State how parents will share in the cost of the child's health insurance and health care or if one parent will take responsibility.

Notifying each other of new contact information

Uniform Chancery Court Rule 8.06 requires parents to notify one another of a change of address or phone number within five days.

Also, in the event of a natural disaster, it requires the parent with the child to notify the other parent of the child's well-being and whereabouts as soon as possible.

You may hear this part of your parenting plan referred to as the Rule 8.06 provision.

Parenting plan topics to consider

Adding more provisions gives you a complete plan that helps avoid returns to court. However, allow some flexibility as what may seem feasible in the moment could become more difficult over time (e.g., daily calls at a specific time).


An exchange occurs when the child goes from one parent's care to the other's. State whether you'll exchange the child at one another's homes or a public place like a park.

Also, include who can transport the child. Are only parents allowed to or can new partners as well? What about babysitters?

Relocating with your child

Moving with your child — especially out of state — is a point of contention for many parents. Mississippi has no formal law about relocating with the child, so covering this is essential.

State how much forewarning the moving parent must provide and whether the other parent gets final say. You might break moves into categories, such as ones of under 50 miles and ones of at least 50 miles.

Co-parenting boundaries

You can include a list of co-parenting boundaries to help keep conflict to a minimum. These may include only using written communication and honoring parent-child relationships.

Resolving disagreements

If you have joint legal custody, make a plan for what happens when you can't agree on a parenting matter. If you're in a high-conflict situation, commit to hiring a parenting coordinator so someone else can decide for you.

Modifying your plan

Your child's needs will change as they get older. State how often you will review your plan together and whether you'll file all changes with the court or just major changes.

The easiest way to make a parenting plan

When you're writing a parenting plan, it's critical you use airtight language that leaves no room for interpretation.

If you hire a lawyer, they'll write up the plan and ensure it meets the court's requirements.

If you write your own plan, use technology to take guesswork out of the equation. The parenting plan template in the Custody X Change online app walks you through each step.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent from the first glance.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a parenting plan is with Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

Join the 60,000+ other parents who have used our co-parenting tools

Organize your evidence

Track your expenses, journal what happens, and record actual time. Print organized, professional documents.

Co-parent civilly

Our parent-to-parent messaging system, which detects hostile language, lets you collaborate without the drama.

Get an accurate child support order

Child support is based on parenting time or overnights in most jurisdictions. Calculate time instead of estimating.

Succeed by negotiating

Explore options together with visual calendars and detailed parenting plans. Present alternatives and reach agreement.

Never forget an exchange or activity

Get push notifications and email reminders, sync with other calendar apps and share with the other parent.

Save up to $50,000 by avoiding court

Write your parenting agreement without lawyers. Our templates walk you through each step.

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