April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Supprt Enforcement has a program designed to aid non-custodial parents with visitation.  You can read about Mississippi’s Access and Visitation Program (MAV-P) by clicking on the link.  The site includes contact information.

MAV-P offers parents who have a court order a neutral facility for visitation and supervised visitation.

For parents without a court order, the program offers a mediation service.

Also included are parenting education and fatherhood mentoring.

Neither parent is required to be a recipient of DHS benefits, but paternity must be established in all cases as a prerequisite to participation in the program.

Any lawyer who has done much custody work can tell you that visitation cases can be as difficult and touchy as the most hotly contested custody cases.  Since Wesley House in Meridian stopped offering supervised visitation some time ago, it has been a challenge to come up with a viable solution when confronted with the need for supervision.  Now it appears that we have a way.  I have tried to communicate this information to as many of our guardians ad litem (GAL’s) as possible.  And now you are in the loop.  Please let me hear from you about the effectiveness vel non of this program.

CAVEAT:  One of the Lauderdale County GAL’s informed me that she tried to invoke these services only a couple of months ago and was told that this office did not have such a service.  If she was informed correctly, that’s more ammunition for those who have questioned whether Lauderdale County DHS is functioning as it should.

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