What May Impact the Final Outcome of a Custody Case?
Determining child custody can be difficult for parents who wish to spend as much time with their child as possible. What they might not be aware of, however, is that Tennessee has specific factors written into the family code that are used to determine child custody. Knowledge of these factors can be of great benefit in preparing to fight for your rights as a parent.
Here are the factors that are used in Tennessee to determine how child custody is awarded:
1. The Child’s Relationship With Each Parent
One of the primary factors that will be examined in a child custody case is the relationship between the child and each parent. This includes the level of love and affection between the child and each parent. Some situations may find that one parent engages in more of the parental duties than the other, or one parent may not have as close of a relationship with the child. Situations like these can play a role in determining custody.
2. Each Parent’s Ability to Meet the Child’s Needs
The court will also examine each parent’s ability, including past, present, and future, to determine if they are able and willing to provide for their child’s needs. The court will pay attention to each parent’s disposition when determining their ability to provide for a child’s basic needs.
Each parent’s health plays a vital role in the court’s determination of child custody, as well. The court will examine not just the physical health but the mental and emotional health of each parent when determining how to meet the child’s best interests.
3. The Child’s Needs Themselves
Everyone has needs – including children of all ages. Children have emotional, mental, and physical needs that are essential to their development and growth.
Some of these needs include:
- Receiving the appropriate education
- Socializing with children their age
- Learning how to properly manage their emotions
4. The Child’s Other Relationship
The child in question in a child custody case may not be the only child present, and the court must also consider their sibling relationship. If it is in the children’s best interests to keep them together, then that can affect the outcome of the child custody case, as well.
Sibling relationships are not the only family relationships that could be in play in a custody case in Tennessee. One parent may have closer access to grandparents that the child may be close with; this closer relationship could inform the judge of how to meet the child’s best interests through their decision.
5. The Presence of Negative Behavior or Abuse
Child abuse is something that should never be tolerated, and the courts in Tennessee know that this can seriously impact how child custody is determined. If there is any abuse present in a child’s home via one parent, including physical or emotional abuse, then that parent may not receive custody when the case concludes.
In addition, the behavior of any other individuals present in the home or who frequently visits the home can play a role in determining custody. For example, if one parent has friends who come over and get drunk, that type of negative behavior could be seen as detrimental to a child’s development and play a role in determining child custody.
6. Other Factors
The court may examine other factors as they see fit. For example, the court could examine each parent’s work schedule and their availability to physically be there for their child and meet their emotional needs. The court could also listen to a child’s preference should they be at least 12 years old. Any other factor deemed relevant and appropriate by the court could be used to determine child custody in Tennessee; be sure to speak with your attorney should you believe any factor not yet named is present and could be used to determine custody.
Working with a Child Custody Attorney in Tennessee
Working through child custody matters can be especially challenging because of the emotional connection present. When you need help, reach out to an attorney who can guide you through Tennessee’s child custody laws and help you reach a favorable outcome. At Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC, we understand the need to remain close to a child after something as difficult as a divorce; we will work to meet both your needs and the best interests of your child.
To learn more about child custody in Tennessee or to schedule a consultation, call us at (901) 295-4635 or visit us online