How is the child’s best interest determined in Tennessee custody?
How is the child’s best interest in Tennessee custody cases determined?
Determining a child’s best interest in custody cases is never cut and dried. Judges take into account a variety of considerations when determining which parent will have custody of the child or if both parents will share custody.
If you’re seeking custody of your child after a divorce, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, about 13.7 million parents just like you had custody of a child while the other parent lived elsewhere. To learn more about how your child’s best interest may be determined in your custody case, contact the Miles Mason Family Law Group to speak to a child custody attorney in Memphis, TN.
Factors that Determine a Child’s Best Interest in Custody
In Tennessee, there are a number of factors that judges consider when making decisions regarding child custody. Judges are not limited to these factors only, however. They also may consider a number of other factors and issues when making a final ruling.
According to Tennessee Code §36-6-106, when determining which custody arrangement is best for the child, a judge can consider:
- the relationship and emotional ties that exist between the child and each parent;
- the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs, including food, housing, clothing, medical care and education;
- the child’s current situation and how a ruling would affect continuity in education, social relationships and overall life;
- the stability of each parent;
- the mental and physical health of each parent;
- the environment each parent can provide, including the quality of the home, area schools and the surrounding community;
- the personal preference of the child, if he or she is 12 or older;and
- any history of physical or emotional abuse by either parent.
Preferences of children younger than 12 may be considered as well if specifically requested. Other factors can be included in the judge’s decision.
Judges may consider additional factors, including:
- religious and cultural influences;
- the child’s relationship with other members of each household;
- any history of drug or alcohol use by either parent; and
- the support of the extended family of each parent.
To learn more about what factors may be considered, visit Tennessee Child Custody Laws in Divorce and contact a child custody attorney in Memphis,TN, at the Miles Mason Family Law Group today.
Types of Custody
Part of determining a child’s best interest in custody cases is deciding what type of custody will be used. Not only will the judge decide who has physical custody of the child. This is called designating the primary residential parent. But, the judge can also determine who will have the right to make decisions regarding the child’s care and upbringing.
Legal custody can be sole, in which only one parent has rights, or shared parenting in which parents share rights. With shared parenting, both parents will have equal authority over the child’s care, education and upbringing, and they will be required to consult the other parent when making any life decisions for the child.
Talk to Miles Mason if Dealing with a Child Custody Case
If you’re seeking custody of your child after a divorce, call the Miles Mason Family Law Group at 1-901-683-1850 to speak with a child custody attorney in Memphis, TN. We’ll help you fight for your child’s best interest in custody.