What Are a Parent’s Visitation Rights After a Divorce?

Every child and every dispute over child custody is unique. Parents who are involved in child custody, child support, and child visitation disputes in the State of Tennessee will need dedicated representation and reliable, personalized legal advice from a .

As a divorced parent, what are your visitation rights in Tennessee? When will a Tennessee court order supervised visitations? Can the court deny your visitation rights? If you are a parent in this state, keep reading, because now or in the future, you may need the answers to these questions.

What is a Tennessee Court’s Highest Priority?

In family law cases, the top priority of a Tennessee court is the best interests of children whose parents are involved in a divorce proceeding or in a visitation, custody, or child support dispute. In child custody cases, when custody is not shared jointly by both parents, visitation is the right of the non-custodial parent to visit the child or children on a regular basis.

Tennessee makes the safety, health, and welfare of children the court’s number one concern. Lawmakers in this state believe that – for most families and in most situations – regular and consistent interactions with both parents are beneficial and right for most children.

Biological parents who are denied primary custody may be awarded visitation rights to protect the relationship between the parent and the child or children. A can make sure that your own visitation rights are recognized and honored by the court.

How Does Tennessee Handle Visitation Requests?

Under Tennessee law, a minor child’s biological parent may seek visitation rights in a divorce, paternity, or custody proceeding, or a parent may submit a request to the court at any time for visitation rights. Courts have substantial discretion to determine what is in a child’s best interests.

A Tennessee court will typically approve a parent’s visitation request unless the court can be persuaded that visitations with a particular parent are not in the child’s or children’s best interests. When it considers a parent’s visitation request, the court will take into account:

  1.  the emotional bonds between the child, the parent, and others in the family
  2.  the parent’s attitude toward and interest in the child
  3.  the appropriateness of continuing the parent-child relationship
  4.  any history of domestic abuse or violence
  5.  the other parent’s preference and the level of cooperation between the parents

What is a Permanent Parenting Plan?

State law requires the preparation of a Permanent Parenting Plan for Tennessee divorces that involve child custody. When child custody is not jointly shared, a Permanent Parenting Plan establishes which parent is the custodial or “primary residential” parent and which is the non-custodial or “alternate residential” parent.

The Permanent Parenting Plan also addresses and sets a schedule for visitations. Visitations are essentially brief, regularly scheduled periods of temporary custody. Usually, divorcing parents cooperate to create a Permanent Parenting Plan that is in the child’s or children’s best interests and acceptable to the court.

What is a Typical Visitation Schedule?

However, if the parents cannot agree on child custody or on a visitation schedule, a Tennessee judge will designate a custodial and a non-custodial parent and will set a schedule for visitations by the non-custodial parent.

When custody is not shared, the standard visitation arrangement in Tennessee allows the custodial parent to have custody of the child or children for 285 days of the year and allows the non-custodial parent to have 80 days of temporary custody or visitations.

If a Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support, Can Visitations Be Denied?

The answer is no. A failure to pay child support and the right to visitation have no direct legal connection. If the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent – with the assistance of a Kingston family law attorney – should file a Petition for Contempt with the court.

In fact, if you do not make your child or children available for scheduled visitations with the other parent, that parent could file his or her own Petition for Contempt against you.

A contempt finding in Tennessee may be penalized with ten days in jail and a $50 fine for each violation. Judges take quite seriously the court orders they issue, and in this state, there is little leniency for parents who deny visitation rights or fail to make their child support payments.

What Else Should Parents Know About Their Visitation Rights?

It is no secret that some parents are involved in criminal behavior or other activities – such as alcohol or drug abuse or addiction – that clearly put a child in danger. When a parent’s behavior of this nature comes to the attention of the court, the court may order supervised visitations.

Additionally in this state, if a parent’s parental rights have been legally terminated, or if a parent has put a child up for adoption, that parent may no longer be able to obtain visitation rights from the court.

In any of these legal circumstances, a Tennessee parent must be advised – from the start – by a Kingston child custody lawyer who has considerable experience handling visitation and custody cases. But how can a parent find a skilled, dedicated, and knowledgeable family law attorney?

Why Should You Choose Davis Legal Team?

In or near the Kingston area, an extended search for the right family law attorney isn’t necessary. Kingston divorce and family law attorney Tyler Davis and the Davis Legal Team will ensure that your parental rights, including your visitation rights, are respected and honored by the court.

All of your concerns will be addressed and your questions will be answered. Davis Legal Team handles divorce and custody disputes, visitation and child support disputes, and other matters of family and civil law. We are proud of our record of success on behalf of our family law clients.

Tyler Davis is an award-winning Tennessee divorce and family law attorney who resolves the most complicated family law disputes. He is also a father of two, so he knows that nothing is more important than our children, their safety, and their futures.

The legal help you may need is a phone call away. If you expect to divorce and fight for custody or visitation rights, or if you simply need to learn more, call the Crossville or Kingston offices of Davis Legal Team now at 865-830-6286 to schedule a no-obligation, no-cost case evaluation.