Child Custody Lawyers in Franklin, TN
Compassionately Serving Families throughout Williamson County
During a divorce, nothing is more crucial than determining child custody arrangements that protect your child’s health, safety, and well-being. Neil Campbell of Story, Abernathy & Campbell is here to help you fight for the best interests of your child.
Our Franklin, TN child custody attorneys have extensive experience helping clients:
- Work out a custody plan that is the best interest of their children
- Petition the court for modifications to custody orders
- Handle all matters pertaining to relocating with a child
- File a petition for contempt against an ex-spouse for custody violations
- Obtain child support to help with the costs of raising a child
Call (615) 235-5620 today to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.
Types of Child Custody in Williamson County
Under Tennessee family law, there are two types of custody: Legal custody and physical custody. Parents who are awarded legal custody have the right to make decisions for their children. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with.
Both types of custody can be held either jointly or solely. Joint legal custody means that both parents share the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of their child. Sole legal custody means that only one parent is given decision-making authority.
If a parent is given sole physical custody, it means that the child will live with that parent, and the other parent will be given visitation rights. If the parents are awarded joint physical custody, the child may spend some days with the father and some days with the mother during any given week.
How Do Judges Determine Custody?
When determining child custody arrangements in Tennessee, family law courts are required to consider the best interest of the child.
A judge will also consider:
- The child’s preferences (if they are mature enough)
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s daily needs
- Any history of domestic violence, negligence, child abuse, or substance abuse
- The physical and mental health of the parents
- The child’s stability in his or her current home, school, or community
- The child’s ability to adjust to a new school, community, or home
- Each parent’s parenting skills and willingness to co-parent
Relocation & Child Custody
Sometimes after a divorce, significant life changes require a parent to relocate to a different city or state. When seeking to relocate with a child following a divorce, it could create problems for the other parent, affecting the time they get to visit their child.
A custodial parent may move without court approval as long as the new residence is within 50 miles of the other parent. If a parent wishes to move farther away or out-of-state, that parent must send written notice to the court and the non-moving parent at least 60 days before the date of moving.
If the notice is filled out according to the requirements and the other parent does not file an objection, the parent may move after 30 days. Alternatively, if the noncustodial parent objects, the matter will need to be decided by a judge during a relocation hearing. As with the original custody order, the decision will be made based on the child’s best interest.
Can a child decide which parent to live with in Tennessee?
A child cannot decide which parent they want to live with until they are 18 years old. However, children 12 years and older may express a reasonable preference and the court must consider it. This does not mean that the court has to place the child where they want, just that they have to give it consideration.
What is considered an unfit parent in Tennessee?
In order for a parent to be considered unfit, they must have done one or more of the following:
- Willfully abandoned their child or refused to perform parental duties for a substantial period of time
- Failed to provide for the child
- Abused the child
- Chronically abused drugs or alcohol
- Other factors that the court deems unfit
The Franklin child custody lawyers at our office are ready to help. Call (615) 235-5620 today.