Knoxville Child Custody Lawyers
Parenting Time & Visitation in Tennessee
Families and divorce cases can be emotional and challenging, especially when children are involved. Our Knoxville child custody lawyers know this and provide caring support in addition to relentless representation.
Does Tennessee have ‘Child Custody’?
The State of Tennessee doesn’t recognize “child custody”. To be clear, Tennessee has what is known as “parenting time”. In some cases, a parent might receive more parenting time than the other. Therefore, the court generally tries for an arrangement allowing both parents the maximum participation possible. As a family law attorney, I understand the importance of having both parents in children’s lives. To that end, I will fight to make sure that you are treated equally and fairly in your legal case.
The legal standard in deciding who parents and what is the “best interest” of the child is analysis by the court. Therefore, if there is parenting litigation, you must be able to prove to the court that the child is better off with you.
Tennessee Child Custody Requirements
There are several requirements to adopt a child in the state of Tennessee. For adoption or “child custody” to proceed. First, a residence in Tennessee must be maintained for at least six months. Second, adoptees must have had physical custody of the child to start with or be able to show the court that they have the right to receive physical custody of the child. Third, a home study must be completed, for instance. Most potential adoptive parents must undergo a home study. Additionally, home studies determine if the home is an appropriate place for the child. Instances in which a home study may be waived, occur when the potential parents are also foster parents to the child or the home has already been approved as part of a prior case.
The Tennessee legislature uses a list of factors to help a judge determine parenting time. For a complete list of those factors, follow this link: T.C.A §36-6-106(a)(1-15). A judge will evaluate all factors individually. Furthermore, parents who show emotional and economic stability, maintain drug-free lifestyles, and are actively involved in the social and educational development of their child will earn more favor with the judge than parents who are not.
Clients are better served if a judge does not rule on parenting time. That is to say, families are better off if they can come to an agreement about parenting time. Mediation or a collaborative settlement if often the best option. Agreements through mediation, are usually better for the family as a whole. Divorce doesn’t have to become lengthy. Divorces can be a quick and relatively easy process, if handled gracefully. This allows both parties to better preserve their assets. Consequently, divorce can be an extremely difficult time for both parents and children. As a result, some parents feel strongly about which parent should have more parenting time and, therefore, the judge may determine the outcome. Often, it is best to exhaust all options before letting a judge decide.
What is “Standard Visitation” in Tennessee Law?
The general definition of “standard visitation” in Tennessee means that a non-primary (but still residential) parent enjoys parenting time every other weekend during the year. This also includes 2 weeks during Summer, and equally sharing holidays throughout the year. Christmas holidays, and school breaks such as those occurring in Spring and Fall are also shared equally. In my experience, it is also important to note, the effects of such arrangements on children. Therefore, it is important to remember to consider everyone’s feelings, geographical distances and other factors when determining visitation rights.
What are the different types of child custody in Tennessee?
Typically, custody is split into two types: Physical and Legal. In addition, the amount of time a child spends with their parent is based on their type of custody. Contact a Knoxville child custody attorney to learn more.
Can visitation rights be awarded to non-parents in Tennessee?
The State of Tennessee has laws that allow persons other than the natural parents to be granted visitation rights. If you are in a situation that is considered to be unconventional, you will want to learn about visitation scenarios that include special circumstances such as:
- Step Parents
- Visitation rights for Military Parents
The Importance of Your Child Custody Attorney
Child custody arrangements affect your child’s long-term well-being. You need an experienced child custody lawyer in Knoxville, TN to fight for the best outcome in your child’s best interests. Our Tennessee child custody attorneys in Knoxville have a successful track record and are ready to fight tirelessly to ensure that you can remain a part of your child’s life.
CONTACT A KNOXVILLE CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER
Are you ready to speak to a top child custody lawyer in Knoxville TN near you? No matter what your Tennessee family law matter entails, you can be rest assured that our Knoxville law firm has the knowledge and skill needed to represent you. We focus exclusively on family law and are prepared to provide the tailored representation and counsel that you need to get the best possible results. Set up your consultation today!