You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, and now you are wondering which of you will get custody of the children. You might wonder whether they will take the divorce in stride or become sad and depressed about the breakup of the family. Child custody can be the source of conflict in divorce. But, when you inform yourself about the process, and make your child’s best interest your first priority, things tend to work out better for all concerned.
Here we wanted to share five things about child custody in Tennessee divorce so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect:
- Tennessee has a “Parental Bill of Rights,” which explains all the rights and responsibilities of co-parents after divorce. Tennessee’s Parental Bill of Rights was amended in July 2014, and it outlines parental rights which can be enforced through a contempt action of the court.
- If parents are unable to agree about child custody, the court will assign custody based on what is in the best interest of the child.
- The judge will consider the reasonable preference of a child age 12 or older about which parent they would prefer to live with, but will not base a custody decision solely on the child’s preference. (TN Code 36-6-101, 102)
- Both parents must work together to develop a parenting plan agreement, and take a co-parenting class. You can download a template for a permanent parenting plan from the website for the Tennessee courts. Your Nashville family law attorney can work with you to develop a parenting plan that works for your child’s specific needs.
- If you plan to move more than 50 miles from your current home, you are required to notify the child’s other parent a minimum of 60 days prior to the planned move by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Tennessee Supreme Court has recently clarified the law on divorced parents relocating with children. In March 2017, the Court ruled that, “under Tennessee’s Parental Relocation Statute, the trial court must allow the parent who spends the greater amount of time with the child to relocate with the child unless the parent who opposes the move proves one of three grounds for denying permission: (1) that the proposed move would pose a threat of serious harm to the child; (2) that the relocating parent’s motive is vindictive; or (3) that the move does not have a reasonable purpose.”(Cassidy Lynne Aragon v. Reynaldo Manuel Aragon)
During the challenging process of divorce, your Nashville family law attorney from Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, will be your dependable advocate as you dissolve your marriage and create a plan for your new life as a co-parent.
Dividing the lives of the members of a family can be challenging especially for the children. You are welcome to call or contact a compassionate Nashville divorce attorney that helps Tennessee families create workable solutions in the best interests of the children during and after divorce at 615.454.9899 or use our contact form to reserve a consultation with the dedicated legal team at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC.