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Child custody in Tennessee: What should parents expect?

As a resident of Tennessee, there are many things you need to know about the divorce process, child custody and related subject matter.

As you come to learn more about child custody, where you fit in and your legal rights, it’s easier to make decisions that will benefit both you and your children.

Here are some of the most common questions and answers associated with child custody in the state of Tennessee:

  • Who will get custody? There’s no easy way to answer this question, as it depends on a variety of factors. Above all else, the court will always do what’s in the best interest of your children. If you’re unable to work out a parenting agreement with your ex-spouse, the court will step in and make an arrangement on your behalf.
  • What is the difference between physical and legal custody? In Tennessee, there is both physical and legal custody. Physical custody outlines where the child lives and how they approach their day-to-day life. Legal custody focuses on important decisions related to things such as education, health care, religion and extracurricular activities.
  • Is it possible to share custody? Yes, in Tennessee it’s possible that you could have 50/50 parenting time. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, this may be the best solution for both parents and your children.
  • Do children have the right to voice their opinion regarding child custody? This differs from state to state, but in Tennessee the court will consider the preference of any child over the age of 12. In unique circumstances, the court may also solicit the preference of a child who is not yet 12.
  • Is it possible to modify child custody in Tennessee? There’s no standard for doing so, as it’s a case by case basis, but you have the right to request a modification if you feel that it’s in the best interest of your children.

These are some of the questions you should personally address as a parent facing child custody concerns in Tennessee. When you understand your legal rights, it’s easier to protect them. And when you do that, you can maintain a strong relationship with your children.