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What factors are used to determine custody in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2022 | Family Law

Custody matters can be challenging for some Tennessee parents after a divorce. While parents want to spend as much time as possible with their children, it’s up to the court to determine how child custody is split. These are the factors the judge considers when deciding.

The child’s relationship with each parent

A major factor in child custody cases is the child’s relationship with each parent. The court wants to see the level of love and affection as well as whether one parent has been the primary caretaker. If the latter is the case, there’s a better chance of the judge awarding primary custody to that parent.

Each parent’s ability to provide for the child

Courts want to see that each parent is able to provide for the child in the present and the future. The child’s needs must be met in a variety of ways, but the most basic are crucial. The judge will factor in each parent’s physical, mental and emotional well-being as well when deciding how parenting time should be divided. The court wants to ensure that the child will be in good hands.

Abuse in the family

If there is a history of abuse in the family, the court will look into that as well. The judge wants to ensure that the child will be safe when in a parent’s custody. With a history of abuse, the parent in question may not be awarded custody at all. However, in some cases, the court may allow supervised visitation.

The child’s wishes

Depending on the child’s age, the court might take their wishes into account when deciding on how to split custody between the parents. Children who are at least 12 years old are often deemed mature enough to make their own decisions regarding their living situation with their parents.

Child custody cases are among the most emotional, but the court’s primary goal is the best interests of the child.