Child Custody Lawyer Helping You Do the Very Best for Your Family in Kingston
Children are the most precious assets in any relationship, and so child custody cases can quickly become fraught and heated. There are a number of factors to consider, and employing the experience of a legal professional can help to smooth the situation, allowing all parties involved to come to an agreeable, amenable resolution which is the best fit for the child or children involved. Here at Davis Law Firm, we have a wealth of experience in helping individuals to resolve child custody cases and placing the welfare of the child at the heart of every decision we make.
Will One Parent Automatically Receive Custody?
In the best-case scenarios, parents are able to calmly discuss the custodial arrangements of the child in question and come to a mutual, civilised agreement which allows shared custody on a predetermined basis. This allows the child to enjoy a relationship with both parents and helps to reduce any obvious ill will between all parties involved.
In some cases however, this is not possible; the parents may be acrimonious, or there may be issues surrounding abuse or abandonment. In these situations, the court will decide on the best custodial arrangements depending on the needs of the child.
Tennessee recognises both physical and legal custody for children; physical custody describes the place in which the child lives, while legal custody refers to the party with the power to make decisions regarding the health, welfare, and education of the child. Each of these custody types come under a joint or a sole custody order. Parents with joint custody in both cases will share both physical and legal responsibilities, while a parent with sole custody has the freedom to make all legal decisions for their child, as well as providing them with a place to live.
What May The Court Advise?
If the question of custody is put before the courts, there are three main types of plan which may be implemented, depending on individual circumstances.
- Residential Schedule: This will specify the primary residence of the child and will put in place a regular schedule, determining how the child will spend time with each parent on an ongoing basis.
- Holiday Schedules: These are specific schedules, used to determine the way in which any birthdays, holidays, or special occasions will be spent, including Mothers Day, Fathers Day, long weekends, and events such as Christmas. These will generally be rotated annually, or spent with the most appropriate parent (e.g. father on Father’s Day). Long holidays may also be split between parents.
- Vacation Schedules: As the name suggests, a vacation schedule determines where a child will reside during extended breaks from school, for example during summer and winter vacation. Any scheduled vacations due to be taken with either parent can also be included here.
Any schedules put in place should prioritize the wellbeing, health, and happiness of the child and so may change according to the age, needs, and development of the child. The goal is to ensure that wherever possible, children are able to spend quality, valuable, and regular time with both parents across the course of the year.
Who Is Responsible For Child Support?
In the event of shared custody, both parents will have a right to claim child support, depending on their specific circumstances. High earners will be required to pay lower earners a certain amount in child support to ensure that financial resources available to the child are equal. In addition, a voluntary declaration and acknowledgement of paternity will be considered adequate grounds to expect support to be provided.
Parents are not permitted to deny visitation due to a lack of child support; the court considers these to be separate, independent issues for which the child should not be punished. The parent should instead file a petition for contempt with the court; the party found to be failing to pay child support could face a prison term of up to six months if they repeatedly fail to comply.
Will My Child Get A Say In Custody Orders?
Tennessee law allows children over the age of twelve to state their preference when it comes to deciding who they would prefer to live with. The judge will speak to the child directly to see if a preference is expressed, though they are not legally required to do so. The child’s preference will only play a small part in determining their best interests; expressing an opinion does not automatically mean that this will be adhered to.
What Can I Do?
If you find yourself faced with a child custody case, the best thing to do is seek professional, reliable legal representation. Here at Davis Law Firm, we can offer a wealth of experience in the world of child custody cases and have worked hard to represent clients across the Kingston area, helping to make sure that the children involved are offered the best solution for their welfare.
We want to help you. Please call us at (865) 354-3333.