8, Tennessee
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Crossville, TN 38555
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How Is Child Custody Determined in Divorce? September 20, 2018

8, Cumberland
How Is Child Custody Determined in Divorce? , 8, Tennessee

Divorcing parents must resolve child custody issues before the court grants a final decree that ends their marriage. A divorce attorney can help a parent reach resolution, such as negotiating a co-parenting agreement or winning a custody court battle. While solutions vary depending on the circumstances, there are a few factors that affect how custody is decided.  

How Divorce Attorneys Help Parents in Custody Cases


There Is a Legal Standard for Deciding Custody

The legal standard for deciding custody is what is in the best interest of the child. Tennessee family law includes parenting plans and uses the term primary residential parent (PRP), which differs from the old legal term of sole custody. A primary residential parent is the parent who has the child more than 50% of the time. The alternative residential parent (ARP) is the parent who has the child less than 50% of the time.

Co-parenting Allows a Child to Live With Both Parents

divorce attorneyParents can agree to co-parent as PRPs and ARPs. Tennessee courts require permanent parenting plans that give one or both parents final authority to decide matters regarding the child’s health care, education, religious upbringing, and social interactions. Plans must also state which parent makes daily decisions and include an agreement on making emergency decisions. Divorce attorneys help parents negotiate and complete parenting plans.

Contested Child Custody Issues Are Heard in Court

If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, both parents submit proposed parenting plans, and the court determines the best interests of the child. The court examines whether the parents are morally, physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to care for their children. Before deciding, courts consider a wide range of evidence, including physical or emotional abuse and the reasonable wishes of children age 12 or older.



Based in Crossville, TN, Kevin R. Bryant Attorney at Law offers wise and compassionate counsel to parents facing child custody and divorce proceedings in Cumberland County and the surrounding area. As a skilled divorce attorney leading a team of dedicated legal professionals, Attorney Bryant ensures his firm focuses on meeting your needs, attaining your goals, and protecting your interests. Visit his website now for more about their experience and services, or call his office at (931)787-1004 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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