Camden Child Custody Attorney
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When parents are unable to come to an agreement regarding child custody and visitation, family courts in Tennessee will award custody to one parent or both parents. Because the stakes are high in custody cases, it is important to consult with an attorney who has years of experience in family law and divorce. Our child custody attorneys at the Law Office of Terry J. Leonard in Camden provide compassionate representation and fight for the best interests of our clients and their children.
Factors Considered in Tennessee Child Custody Cases
Courts in Tennessee consider the best interest of the child above all else in custody cases and place an emphasis on the child’s wishes, as long as the child has reached sufficient maturity. In addition, the court may consider a variety of other factors and testimony when awarding custody.
Tennessee courts may consider factors such as:
- The child’s preferences
- Stability of the current home and school situation
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- Parenting skills
- History of domestic violence
Child custody can be joint, with both parents sharing physical custody of the children and making important decisions regarding medical care, education, religious upbringing, and other decisions. In other situations, one parent may be awarded primary custody while the other receives visitation rights. If the court finds that one parent willingly abandoned a child for at least 18 months, visitation may be limited.
Developing a Permanent Parenting Plan
Whether parents come to an agreement on their own or the court makes custody decisions, a permanent parenting plan will be developed to address issues related to minor children. This includes a residential schedule that describes where the children will reside and time that will be spent with each parent.
The plan may be modified in the future, either by agreement between both parents or by the court, as circumstances change. As with initial custody decisions, modifications will be made with the best interests of the children in mind.
Things to Avoid During Your Custody Case
- Traveling with your children without informing your ex-spouse
- Criticizing the other parent
- Exposing your children to a new significant other
- Denying your children of contact with their other parent during their designated time
- Removing your children from their scheduled activities
- Verbal altercations with your ex-spouse
- Verbal altercations with your children
- Physical confrontation with your ex-spouse &/or children
- Dropping the ball on scheduled parental responsibilities or payments
- Damaging your ex-spouse's property
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