Be sure you have the most current listing of the child custody factors. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 36-6-106 directs the court to base its custody decision upon the best interest of the child. No one factor controls. Is there emotional abuse or other mental health concerns? Which parent has the final say-so could depend upon the subject. Upon request from one (1) parent, the parent enrolling the child in school shall provide to the other parent as soon as available each academic year the name, address, telephone number and other contact information for the school. For it is the responsibility of both parents (but especially the primary residential parent) to foster and encourage a meaningful relationship with the other parent. For other legal reasons, a primary residential parent must be declared even when parents share exactly equal time with their child. Divorcing Tennessee parents are required to attend a four-hour parenting class and enter a parenting plan with the court to qualify for a divorce. Show up to all regularly scheduled school, sports, and extracurricular activities, such as parent-teacher meetings, practices, games, and special events. In general, this determination can be associated with a case seeking to declare a child dependent and neglected. The parent traveling with the child or children shall provide this information to the other parent so as to give that parent reasonable notice; and. Typical cases involve parents who are incarcerated, addicted to drugs, physically abusive, or who have abandoned their children. Either sole or joint custody, as well as mixed custody arrangements, shall be awarded on a case-by-case basis, depending on what would be in the child… In most cases, both parents love their children immensely. To avoid Tennessee child custody disputes, parents should learn what it means to co-parent. A parent seeking to prevent the move often petitions the court to change the designation of primary residential parent. Note that with child support modification determinations, the parent receiving support may argue that the number of parenting days actually exercised should be used to calculate child support, and not necessarily the number listed in the parenting plan. Every case is different, but here are a few tips from which to start. In general, co-parenting means both parents must make every effort to cooperate with each other and put aside disputes for the sake of their children. TN Custody Laws. They should avoid putting the children in the middle of arguments. For more information about seeking a protective order in Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, or elsewhere in Shelby County, Tennessee, visit The Crime Victims Center (CVC) located at 1750 Madison Ave., Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38104. The child's preference, if the child is of an age and maturity level to make an informed decision (age 12 or older). Talk to your experienced family law attorney. Before the 2001 Tennessee custody law created the permanent parenting plan requirement, one major problem with the term joint custody came from parents who described themselves in divorce settlements as having agreed to joint legal custody or joint physical custody. Parents should be flexible with parenting time changes based on the child’s schedule. In Tennessee child custody law, if a child is over 12 years old, then a parent can request the court consider the child’s wishes in a contested child custody matter. When an allegation of abuse is proven to be false, a Tennessee judge could react in a number of ways. Parents who made false accusations of child abuse often lose almost all credibility with judges. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 and their website can be found at // In almost all circumstances, failure to pay child support is not a singular basis for terminating a parent’s right to parenting time, or visitation. In everyday conversation, though, Tennessee judges and lawyers may still use the words “child visitation.” In this general sense, child visitation in Tennessee merely refers to the time a non-custodial parent spends with the child. A Tennessee parent who is a proven abuser can have an extremely difficult road to be selected as the primary residential parent. To protect a child from harm, a parent usually asks the court to declare him or her as temporary primary residential parent and, possibly, require supervised parenting time (supervised visitation) for the other parent. A conviction for DUI or drug possession, for instance, will be considered more serious than hosting one party with a few intoxicated guests. 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