When navigating a divorce, it can be challenging to make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone, especially when it comes to children. If you’re going through a divorce and seeking child custody or visitation, you might be tempted to seek sole legal custody of your child based on personal feelings. However, it’s important to explore all of your options to ensure you balance your goals while prioritizing your child’s best interests so you can pursue a resolution that works well for everyone. Enlisting the help of a trusted divorce and family law attorney will help you understand all of your options so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Child Custody in Tennessee
Typically with child custody in Tennessee, the court will grant one parent physical custody while the other parent will get child visitation rights and the right to participate in legal custody, regarding important decisions affecting the child’s life.
Under Tennessee divorce and family law, child custody and visitation arrangements must be based on the child’s best interests rather than those of either parent. The courts generally try to achieve as much continuity as possible for children. If one parent has been primarily responsible for caring for the child and interacting with his or her teachers and doctors, that parent is more likely to get primary custody to provide continuity.
If both parents have been equally involved in the child’s life, the court may grant relatively equal custody time or grant one parent more visitation time than normal, which can also affect the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent has to pay.
The Difference Between Custody and Visitation
Legal custody is the decision-making process of two parents seeking child custody. During this process, both parents must decide on schools, churches, values, and healthcare treatments. Once a judge makes a decision, sole custody can be granted to one parent or be split between both. Physical custody is the physical possession of the child or the parent with whom the child lives. This can also be given solely or split between both parents.
If granted joint custody, it’s typically not an even split between both parents. Oftentimes, one parent will have the child during the week while the other parent will get the child on weekends and holidays. In this case, a custody agreement determines specific details of how time is split between two parents.
The difference between custody and visitation is that visitation is the parenting time granted to the parent without sole custody. A visitation schedule outlining specific dates, times, and locations of when the noncustodial parent sees the child. It’s essential that the noncustodial parent follows the set visitation schedule. Otherwise, further legal action can be taken. A supervised child visitation is also an option if one parent poses a threat to the child and it’s deemed necessary for their safety and well-being.
Myth vs. Fact: Mothers and Child Custody
Many people assume that a child’s mother will get primary custody by default. While mothers have historically been favored for and awarded physical custody, this is changing as fathers are taking on a more active role in parenting and asserting their rights as a father in court. Ultimately, every case is unique, and the outcome depends on all of the factors relevant to the child’s best interests.
Middle Tennessee’s Top Family Attorneys
Navigating Tennessee custody laws after divorce can be stressful and sometimes challenging depending on the circumstances. At Flexer Law, our family law attorney helps parents seek custody and visitation schedules that allow them to maintain strong relationships with their children while ensuring a smoother process.
Flexer Law has been serving the legal needs of Middle Tennessee residents since 1981. Our experienced divorce and family attorneywill work diligently on your behalf to provide the best financial outcome for you.
We have three office locations throughout Middle Tennessee to accommodate your legal needs. Contact us to schedule a consultation, and we’ll find the best solution to get your financial life back on track.
Flexer Law Office Locations for Child Custody Lawyers
- Nashville, TN
- Murfreesboro, TN
- Columbia, TN