Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Child Custody in Tennessee Determined by a Myriad of Factors

When it comes to divorce, one of the most difficult challenges can be child custody. While it can be a struggle for all parties, children are indirectly affected by other’s actions and at times suffer the greatest deal. In Tennessee, courts decide child custody based upon the best interests of the child. To find the best interests of the child, courts looks at several factors relating to the child, which include a few of the following. Continuity might be the most important factor that courts look at when determining where a child will live. 

In other words, what is the child used to? There is a good chance that a court will keep a child doing what it is used to doing. If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child’s preference also comes into play. In some cases, the court may hear the preference of a child, and at times, the word of an older child may have a higher priority. 

On the same note, courts can tell when a child is being prepped or instructed by an outside party and they do not think highly of this matter. The relationship between the child and parents is a factor to consider and also the mental and physical health of the parents. The history of physical or emotional abuse may also be examined, if any exists. The parent’s ongoing relationship with the child is a factor too. 

In this same regard, the work schedules for each parent are a factor in child custody in Tennessee. Regarding siblings, courts generally tend to try to keep siblings together. Splitting them up is not too common of a practice. While these are just a few dynamics of child custody, none of them carry priority over the other and all are examined with other circumstances.  

In other areas, it is sometimes normal to assume the mother can gain primary custody of a child. While it is common, this is not always the case as gender is not a determining factor in Tennessee. However, like other states, the mother gains custody in most scenarios. These are just a few stepping stones into child custody in the state of Tennessee. With many questions surrounding divorce and child custody laws, it is always a good idea to be prepared to tackle any questions that come to mind.  

For a complete list of Best Interests Factors, see this summary from Knoxville Attorney K.O. Herston.

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