Child Custody Laws in Bristol, TN 

 In Divorce Law

If you’re a Bristol, TN parent looking to understand child custody laws and how the court determines custody, you clicked the right post! In this quick and interactive guide, we’ll discuss:

  • What is child custody?
  • How does the judge decide child custody in Bristol, TN?
  • What should I do if I don’t like the custody outcome?

So let’s take a deeper dive!

What is Child Custody?

Child custody refers to the legal rights of parents over their children. It’s important to know that there are two primary types of custody, sole or joint. Sole custody means one parent has full control over all decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. Joint custody means both parents have equal decision-making power.

In most cases, the primary custodial parent will be awarded sole custody. However, it’s not uncommon for the noncustodial parent to receive some form of visitation with the child. If the court decides that joint custody is best for your child, it will set up a schedule outlining when each parent can see the little one and what activities they may participate in together.

How does the Judge Decide Custody in Bristol, TN?

According to the Tennessee child custody and visitation code, the judge must consider several relevant factors when granting custody. These include:

  • The child’s reasonable preference if they’re twelve or older
  • The child’s school, home, and community record
  • The relationship between each parent and the child
  • The child’s developmental level and emotional needs
  • The degree of each parent’s role and commitment as the child’s primary caregiver
  • Each parent’s potential in performing their parental responsibilities, both past and future projections
  • Each parent’s mental and physical wellness
  • The child’s interrelationships and interactions with siblings, relatives, step-relatives, mentors, etc.
  • The criminal history of any party involved
  • The employment status and schedule of the parties
  • The financial circumstances of the parties
  • The education and training available to the parties
  • Any other factor deemed appropriate by the court

What should I do if I don’t like the Custody Outcome?

The judge has made a decision as guided by the Tennessee child custody laws, but you don’t like the outcome. What next? Is it the end of the road? Not even close! The truth is, you can get the custody orders modified given a material change in circumstances. If you’re confident that these circumstances warrant a reconsideration of the custody ruling, you have every right to petition the court.

Here are common changes that would make a solid submission for your case:

  • Your living standard has improved substantially
  • Your child is getting abused by someone in the other party’s house
  • The other party has colluded your relationship with the child
  • You have relocated to a location closer to the child

The Slaughter Law Firm is Here to Help!

At the Slaughter Law Firm, we’re a team of experienced lawyers committed to helping clients with divorce and child custody cases. We understand how difficult this time can be, and we want to help you find solutions that work for you. So let us leverage our 21 years of experience to create workable child custody agreements that keep both your needs and your child’s best interests first. Please schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation to learn more!