Tennessee Child Custody Laws

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Tennessee child custody laws take the best interests of the children into account when deliberating over any kind of child custody settlement after divorce. As such, joint custody of children by both parents is not always possible.

Navigating Tennessee Child Custody Laws

Although it may be preferable to have equal child custody rights by both parents, this is by no means a given. A parent who's abusive, negligent, or guilty of substance abuse can be denied parental custody. Also, the parent's ability to support their children is a major factor. If a parent doesn't have a job, or if providing proper care for a child is beyond their physical, mental, or financial means, the parent who does have those means will be given primary, or even sole custody.

A Child's Say

In some instances, a judge will listen to a younger child's input when deciding a child custody case. But this can be a difficult way to obtain an accurate idea of what will be in that child's best interests. Parents can persuade their children into saying whatever they want, or by bad mouthing the other parent. A judge will however give greater credence to the wishes or testimony of an older child.

Again, like all states, Tennessee child custody laws only want what is best for a child. Deciding which parent is most fit to be granted primary custody of their children is no simple task. Tennessee law will weigh many factors before coming to a decision.


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