Child Custody

What is the impact of a temporary custody order on the final result?

When cases are started, the Court often enters a temporary order for custody, visitation and support of the child. Client’s often question what the significance of the temporary order is in the final result. Obviously, if a court has determined that custody should be with one parent in the temporary order, it gives that person some confidence that the Court considers them the custodial parent. However, from a legal standpoint, the temporary custody order should have no impact on the Judge’s consideration of custody on a final basis. In the recent case of HAMMONS v. HAMMONS, NO. 2018-CA-00708-COA (Decided Jan 21, 2020), the court considered this issue and stated:

“A temporary custody order is just that, temporary; it does not change the underlying burden of proof.” Sanders v. Sanders, 281 So. 3d 1043, 1054 (¶43) (Miss. Ct. App. 2019). A determination one way for a temporary order does not require the same result in the permanent order. “The [chancery court] must conduct an Albright analysis and decide the issue of permanent custody de novo regardless of the temporary order.” Id

“De novo” means “anew.” Therefore, a temporary order should have zero impact on the Judge’s final decision on custody.