Call Our Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyer at (615) 796-6299
For most divorcing parties, nothing is more important and nothing should be taken more seriously than child custody. Though child custody disputes can be a more contentious part of the divorce proceedings, most parents focus on minimizing the impact it will have upon their children. It is important to put the children first and to focus on creating a parenting plan that will allow a strong parent-child relationship after the divorce is finalized.
If you are thinking of filing for divorce, protecting your parental rights is of the upmost importance. Murfreesboro divorce lawyer David Clarke works to protect the rights of clients and to keep the parent-child bonds intact by creating parenting plans that are tailored to each family's unique set of circumstances.
How Do Courts Determine Child Custody?
In Tennessee, the courts base child custody decisions on what is in the best interest of the child (T.C.A. § 36-6-106).
In considering what is in the best interest of the child, 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 the 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 years of age or older
- Each parent's employment schedule
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court
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.
Modifications of Child Custody Orders
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 child custody lawyer who can help you revise your current arrangements to include the new circumstances. Attorney Clarke has experience helping clients obtain favorable child custody modification plans.
Contact Our Murfreesboro Child Custody Attorney
At the Clarke Law Firm, Attorney Clarke puts his experience to work protecting your parental rights. He understands emotions can run high when dealing with child custody issues. He dedicates himself to helping you navigate the sometimes complex issues and come to a workable agreement that will best serve the needs of the children involved.
To speak to our reliable Murfreesboro child custody attorney, contact Clarke Law Firm for a free consultation. Call (615) 796-6299 today.