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GRANDMOTHER LOSES CUSTODY TO UNWED FATHER EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS THE CHILD’S CARETAKER!

In a child-custody determination between a natural parent and a third party, such as a grandparent, the law presumes that it is in the best interest of the child for the natural parent to have custody. Lucas v. Hendrix, 92 So. 3d 699, 705-06 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012) This is because“[g]randparents have no legal right [to] custody of a grandchild, as against a natural parent.” Lorenz v. Strait, 987 So. 2d 427, 434 (¶41) (Miss. 2008).

The natural-parent presumption is rebuttable—but only “by a clear showing that (1) the parent has abandoned the child; (2) the parent has deserted the child; (3) the parent’s conduct is so immoral as to be detrimental to the child; or (4) the parent is unfit, mentally or otherwise, to have custody.” In re Smith, 97 So. 3d 43, 46 (Miss. 2012). See, Wilson v Davis NO. 2012–CA–00196–COA (4/30/13).