For most divorcing parties, nothing is more important and nothing should be taken more seriously than the custody of your child(ren). Though child custody disputes can be a more contentious part of the divorce proceedings, most parents focus on minimizing the impact it will have on the child(ren). It is important to put the child(ren) first and focus on creating a parenting plan that will allow a strong parent-child relationship after the divorce is finalized.

If you are thinking of divorce, protecting your parental rights is of upmost importance. Murfreesboro Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer David L. Clarke works to protect the rights of his clients and to keep the parent-child bonds intact by creating parenting plans that are tailored to each family's unique set of circumstances.


In Tennessee, the courts base child custody decisions on what is in the best interest of the child(ren). In considering what is in the best interest of the child(ren), the court shall order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of the child consistent with the factors below.

  • The strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with each parent

  • Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities

  • Refusal to attend a court ordered parent education seminar

  • The disposition of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care

  • The degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver

  • The love, affection, and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child

  • The emotional needs and developmental level of the child

  • The moral, physical, mental and emotional fitness of each parent as it relates to their ability to parent

  • The child's interaction and interrelationships with siblings, other relatives and step-relatives, and mentors, as well as the child's involvement with the child's physical surroundings, school, and other significant activities

  • The importance of continuity in the child's life and length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment

  • Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent or to any other person

  • The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent

  • The reasonable preference of the child if twelve (12) years of age or older

  • Each parent's employment schedule

  • Any other factors deemed relevant by the court

See T.C.A. § 36-6-106


In the past, primary physical custody of a child was frequently awarded to a single parent with the other parent receiving limited visitation with the child. However, Tennessee courts are now favoring custody plans that allow both parents to have equal amounts of time with the child, if possible.


After the initial child custody agreements have been ordered, life circumstances can bring changes to your situation that necessitate a modification of custody arrangements. These circumstances can include (but are not limited to) moving in or out of the area, a new work schedule, etc. When these situations arise in your case, contact an experienced Murfreesboro child custody lawyer who can help you revise your current arrangements to include the new circumstances. Mr. David L. Clarke has experience helping his clients obtain favorable child custody modification plans.

At the Clarke Law Firm, Mr. Clarke puts his experience to work protecting your parental rights. He understands emotions can run high when dealing with child custody issues. Mr. Clarke dedicates himself to helping his clients navigate the sometimes complex issues and come to a workable agreement that will best serve the needs of the child(ren) involved. To speak to a Rutherford County divorce and child custody attorney, contact The Clarke Law Firm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Schedule a consultation with Mr. David L. Clarke by calling (615) 796-6299 today.



Through unique case solutions and aggressive representation our attorney at The Clarke Law Firm knows how to handle your case. Handling criminal defense, family law, and personal injury cases, we are fully prepared to handle any legal matter. Contact our attorney today and begin reviewing your case with our local law firm.