Knowledgeable Collierville Child Custody Lawyer
Dedicated Tennessee attorney helps clients maintain strong parent-child bonds
Divorce is hard for children, especially when their parents have significant disagreements over child custody and visitation. When you are involved in a custody issue, The Collierville Law Firm will do everything lessen the negative impact on your child pursing a parenting plan that safeguards your relationship with your child now and into the future. William L. Hagan III is a seasoned family lawyer with over 30 years of experience practicing law in Tennessee. You can rely on him for sound advice and effective representation in negotiations and court proceedings relating to custody.
If you and your spouse cannot reach a custody agreement, a judge will make the decision for you. Judges in Tennessee typically prefer joint custody arrangements that give both parents the best chance to continue loving and supportive relationships with their children. Both legal and physical custody can be awarded on a joint basis. Joint legal custody means that the parents share equal responsibility for making major decisions for the child, such as those concerning education, medical care and religion. In a joint physical custody arrangement, that the child spends time living with both parents, though not necessarily on a 50/50 basis. If you wish, we can advocate for joint custody terms and help you develop a parenting plan that is in your child’s best interests.
Although there is a general preference for joint custody, there are some situations in which sole custody is warranted. Under sole legal custody, only one parent has the authority to make major decisions for the child. Sole physical custody is when the child lives with one parent, though other likely will have visitation rights according to a schedule ordered by the court. Sole custody may be awarded if there is a parental history of domestic violence, substance abuse problem, neglect or abandonment. A distant parental relocation could also make sole custody a suitable option. Our firm can assist you in seeking sole custody or opposing your spouse’s request for sole custody.
Factors that determine child custody in Tennessee
When it comes to custody decisions, families and fact patters are all different. Judges are required to issues orders based on what they believe to be in the youth’s best interests. Any relevant factor can be considered, but some of the most common factors judges use include the following:
- Children’s relationships with both parents
- Whether one parent has performed most of the daily parenting responsibilities
- The child’s preference if they are 12 years old or older
- Parents’ work schedules, as well as children’s school and activity schedules
- The moral, physical, mental and emotional fitness of each parent
- Other residents and frequent visitors in a parent’s home
- Stability of the home environments
- Children’s relationships with siblings and other relatives
Our firm will advise you how these factors may influence decisions in your case and make every effort to help you achieve the type of parenting plan that works best for you and your children.
Tennessee child custody modifications
Parents can request modifications to child custody orders by petitioning the court when there has been a material change in circumstances. The parent asking for the modification will need to prove to the court why the proposed change is in the child’s best interests. Courts might approve a modification due to a change in a parent’s work schedule, a parent moving out of the area, the child’s changing needs, violations of the existing custody order, substance abuse or domestic violence. We can help you petition the court for a modification or defend the current order if you do not agree a modification is needed.
Contact a Collierville child custody attorney to schedule a free consultation
The Collierville Law Firm in Tennessee represents parents in child custody matters, including divorce proceedings and post-order modification requests. For a free initial consultation regarding your legal options, please call us at 901-614-0318 or contact us online.