Tennessee Child Custody Laws
When children are involved with divorce proceedings, a difficult situation can get even more stressful. In Tennessee, all divorcing parents enter into a Permanent Parenting Plan that accounts for the physical and legal custody of children. If both spouses agree on a custodial arrangement, things will go much more smoothly. If there is any disagreement, however, the family court must intervene to determine that custody arrangements serve the best interest of the child. It is important to have an attorney skilled in child custody and visitation law on your side during these legal proceedings to make sure the right decisions are made in court.
How does the court determine child custody and visitation rulings?
Deciding the custodial arrangements for children is not an issue that is quickly resolved. The family law court generally starts its evaluation by looking at how each individual parent has been involved with the raising of the child or children. If both the mother and father happen to be both equally active in the raising of the children, then shared physical custody is a strong possibility, however, this is not always the case.
When it comes to the alternatives which are presented, a court takes into account numerous factors including:
●Previous agreements between family members
●Benefits and downside associated with each proposed child custody arrangement
●The desires of the child or children, provided he or she is old enough (usually 12+ years old)
●Past or present history of domestic violence or substance abuse
If the Permanent Parenting Plan is unresolved between the mother and father, the family law courts require both spouses to meet with a Family Law Mediator. The Mediator will be charged with evaluating the circumstance and becoming more familiar with the relationships and collaboration of the family. The Mediator will likely then make suggestions for custody of the children and see if the mother and father will accept adhere to these suggestions.
Tennessee Child Custody and Visitation Law difficulties
Whenever both parents share custody of the children, the amount of support made available to the spouse using the reduced earnings usually reflects the actual reduction in time spent with the children. Although this shouldn't be a motivating aspect in regard to requesting custody of minor children, this particular reduction in payments has to be taken into account within the mediation process.
In the event that the mother and father are not able to resolve the issues of custody of the children on their own or by means of some level in the mediation process, the parents also have the legal right to have a hearing of the issues before the judge. This method isn't affordable and may actually boost the ill-feelings between parents. If either spouse remains unsatisfied with the outcome, either party will be able to ask that the court order both parents to undertake an evaluation. Evaluations are typically expensive and generally carried out by a psychiatrist or mental health specialist trained in private practice that focuses primarily on child custody evaluations.
Do I really need a Tennessee child custody and visitation lawyer
When the mother or father are not able to reach an agreeable child custody arrangement, determining custody of the children generally is a lengthy and complex process. Arriving at a suitable Permanent Parenting Plan for both spouses can necessitate the involvement of a trained child custody and visitation attorney. Should the future of your children be at risk, you must have a lawyer with practical experience and proven success in order to accompany you through the process and convey the most important factors to the attention of the court.