Top family law attorney Francis King, founder of the Law Offices of Francis King in Nashville, TN outlines top considerations that could sway a judge’s decision-making when it comes to finalizing which parent gets primary custody of children. For more information please visit https://franciskinglaw.com
Several factors could sway a judge’s decision-making when it comes to finalizing which parent gets primary custody of children, Francis King, a Tennessee divorce attorney, commented this week.
For more information please visit https://franciskinglaw.com
The founder of the Law Offices of Francis King said that a family law court in Tennessee must always make decisions about child custody based on the best interests of the child and that remains paramount no matter how bitter the divorce battle between the parents.
“There is no one size fits all approach to parenting issues in Tennessee,” King said. “Each situation is unique and the courts seek to be mindful of the particular family dynamics on a case by case basis.”
One important factor, in Tennessee child custody cases, is considering a parent who has historically been acting as the primary caregiver but, says King, that is not the only consideration. Moreover, while the mother. more often than not, has fulfilled that role, that does not preclude the possibility that the father will be named the primary residential parent. King explained, “Tennessee child custody law is gender neutral and there is not ‘tender years doctrine’ or presumption that, in cases involving very young children, women are better suited to childcare responsibilities than men.”
Another important factor for courts to assess is which parent is most likely to provide the stability and continuity in the child’s life. If one parent is going to remain in the marital residence post-divorce, this could give him or her an advantage in getting the most parenting time.
While a child in Tennessee does not have the legal right to choose where they wish to live, a divorce court may give some weight to their preference. This could be particularly important in reference to teenagers who express a desire to be with one parent more than the other. That might be accommodated as long as the chosen parent can guarantee a safe and stable environment for the child.
Mr. King said: “The court will assess other matters, such as who carries the greater responsibility and what roles they play in a child’s life. These can include who takes the children to school, who helps them with their homework, supports them in their sports events and the general heavy lifting a parent would routinely do. The one who takes the greater role is more likely to be named the primary residential parent.”
Where there is disagreement between mom and dad in a custody battle, a judge in Tennessee will usually lean on previous parental history as a guideline when coming to a decision.
King said: "When a custody battle occurs, a judge will take a balanced look at each parent's circumstances, but they will be mindful to look at continuity and stability as preferable over causing major upheaval and change in a child's life."
In Tennessee, a court will also consider any negative factors that may prevent a parent gaining that primary care role. These can include issues like alcoholism, other substance abuse or an unstable home environment.
Evidence that a spouse is highly disruptive or interferes in the child-parent dynamic will be called to task. The more cooperative parents are, the better the decision will reflect on all parties and the child.
King said that those parents who agree to co-parenting roles and happily work together will have a better prospect of obtaining a 50-50 custody arrangement.
Those that don’t qualify for equal time will need to consider where they are located in relation to the child’s primary address and their own living environment to ensure a judge will look favorably to grant a parenting plan that gives both parents appropriate time with their children.
King concluded: “To achieve the best outcome for custody rights in Tennessee, you need to seek professional advice from an experienced divorce attorney who can advise on the options open to you.”
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