There are many difficult decisions that people need to make during a divorce in Tennessee. However, many times the most difficult decisions are child custody decisions. Generally both parents want to maintain their relationships with their children, but they know it will never be the same as when the whole family was living together. Coming up with a plan that makes the best of the situation can be a difficult and emotional process.

Regardless of how difficult it may be, the decision must be made. It can be agreed to by the parents or it can be determined by a judge if the parents cannot agree. Ultimately the decision is based on what is in the best interests of the child though and not the parents. There are many factors that are used to determine custody and ultimately one parent could have sole custody or the parents could share joint custody.

However, custody by itself does not determine when the child will reside with each parent. Even non-custodial parents are granted visitation with the child to ensure they can maintain their relationship with the child.

The visitation granted or agreed to will include a set schedule specifically stating which days the child will be with the non-custodial parent. It will also state which holidays the child will be with each parent, when each parent can go on vacation with the child and grant visitation for other special occasions. Visitation will not be granted or may be supervised though if the judge finds that visitation will endanger the child.

Many parents in Tennessee go through a divorce each year. Usually at the end of the process the parents will have an order stating which parent will have child custody. However, the order will also grant visitation to a non-custodial parent so both parents can maintain relationships with the children. These are very fact-specific decisions though and experienced attorneys may be a useful resource.

Source:, “Tennessee Code Title 36. Descent and Distribution § 36-6-301” accessed on August 31, 2017