Custody disputes can produce emotionally charged and complex legal battles. When Tennessee parents separate or divorce, one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed is determining custody of any children involved. Several factors are considered when determining custody, and the process can vary depending on the state or jurisdiction.
The child’s best interests
The most important factor in determining custody is the child’s best interests. The court will consider what arrangement will best meet the child’s needs in terms of their physical and emotional well-being under family law.
The parents’ ability to care for the child
The court will consider each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, including their emotional, physical and developmental needs. This includes parents’ ability to provide for the child financially.
The child’s wishes and relationship with each parent
Depending on the child’s age and maturity level, their wishes may be taken into consideration when determining custody. The court will consider the child’s relationship with each parent and whether each parent has been involved in the child’s life.
Any history of abuse or neglect and special needs
If there is a history of abuse or neglect by either parent, this will be taken into consideration when determining custody. If the child has any special needs, the court will consider how each parent can meet those needs.
The parent’s ability to cooperate
The court will consider each parent’s ability to work together in making decisions regarding the child’s welfare. This can be determined from a look at the parents’ history as a couple as well as their current intentions to make the arrangement work.
Types of custody
There are two main types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child will physically live while legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and other important aspects of their life. Both types of custody can be shared between parents, or one parent may have primary custody while the other has visitation rights.
When parents are unable to agree on custody, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s best interests. This individual will investigate the situation and make a recommendation to the court regarding custody arrangements.
Making the right decision for the child
Custody disputes can be complex legal battles that require careful consideration of a wide range of factors. Parents should work together to reach a custody agreement, but if this is not possible, the court will step in to make a decision based on the best interests of the child.