In the lives of Tennessee residents, divorce can be among the biggest challenges many have to face. Although it can also be a positive transition — after all, it has been said that no good marriages end in divorce — it can also be an emotionally trying time. Although there are many big divorce issues, such as property division, it is often those that involve children that can be among the most contentious. Of course, parents often have strong feelings when it comes to how they want their children to be raised. This is why it can be of the utmost importance that a parent’s interests are protected in child custody case.

Child custody, like other aspects of divorce, has its own state-specific laws. Like other states, Tennessee child custody laws allow for grandparents’ visitation rights and joint custody. And, of course, the child’s own wishes are emphasized when considering child custody decisions. In Tennessee courts, it is required to state in writing why a child custody decision is not only legal, but why it is also in the best interests of the child.

Tennessee family courts have the power to award the care, custody and control of the children in two ways. It can either go to one of the parents, or both. A parent’s involvement with a child may be limited if a court finds that it is within the best interests of the child to do so. This may because a parent willfully abandoned a child or has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Of course, most parents want to be able to spend as much time as possible with their children. Often, it takes a strong legal strategy and a lot of planning to enhance the chances that a parent is awarded a child custody decision that is in both their and their children’s best interest.

Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Child Custody Laws,” accessed on May 23, 2017