Nashville Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Custody and Permanent Parenting Plans
In Tennessee, child custody and visitation can be set by the juvenile court, if the parents are not or were not married, or by the divorce court or other court having appropriate jurisdiction over the children and the parents. A visitation or parenting schedule must be reflected in a Permanent Parenting Plan, which provides for the custody, care, and support of the children. The Parenting Plan designates the Primary Residential Parent and sets out parenting time (previously called visitation) with each parent.
To make a custody and parenting time decision, the court will determine an arrangement that is in the best interests of the children, taking into consideration numerous factors and considering each child and family’s personal and unique needs. The court will craft a parenting plan that maximizes each parent’s time with the children.
- Some of the factors that may determine what is in the best interest of the child include:
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The financial stability of each parent
- The need for a stable environment
- Any history of domestic violence, alcohol, or drug use
- The age of the child
Establishing child custody and parenting plans can be one of the most difficult times in the lives of parents and children and can take an emotional toll on everyone. The compassionate Nashville child custody lawyers at the Collins Law Firm can help you through this time of transition to reach a parenting plan and custody arrangement that is in the best interests of your children and that creates a stable, healthy, and supportive environment for them.
When a child is born to married parents, the child is presumed under the law to be the legal child of the husband and wife. But, when unmarried parents have a child together, or a woman has a child by someone other than her husband, paternity, or parentage, must be established under the law. Legal parentage can be established voluntarily using a Voluntary
Acknowledgement of Paternity when the child is born or by conducting DNA testing through a lab or testing center and seeking a court order establishing parentage. Biological fathers typically have no rights until legal parentage is established.
Whether you are seeking to prove that you are the biological father of a child, you are a mother seeking to identify the biological father of your child, or you must fight against false allegations that you are the father of a child, our Nashville child custody attorneys at the Collins Law Firm can help you.
Change of Custody and Parenting Plan Modification
Once custody has been established, the Tennessee law governs how and when a court can change custody between the parents and whether a Permanent Parenting Plan can be modified. Generally, the court must find that there has been a material change in circumstance that affects the child or children before custody can be changed or a Parenting Plan can be modified. The Court also must determine that any change is in the best interests of the children.
If one parent seeks to move to another city or state with or without the minor children, the law may require the parent to comply with certain requirements to give timely notice of the planned relocation to the other parent. Whether a parent must comply with these relocation statutes depends on a variety of circumstances.
The relocation of one or both parents after custody or co-parenting has been established by a court order or the entry of a Permanent Parenting Plan may also be considered a material change in circumstances that could allow the court to modify an existing Parenting Plan or custody arrangement.
Recent developments in the laws regarding parental relocation seem to have changed the application of the requirements somewhat, but the experienced Nashville child custody lawyers at the Collins Law Firm can guide you through the requirements and the Parenting Plan modification process, whether you seek to relocate or whether the other parent is attempting to relocate away from you.
Call our firm today to share the details about your child custody case. Our team has the skill and know-how to pursue your best interests.