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Murfreesboro Family Law Attorney Navigates the Complexities of Tennessee Child Custody Laws

Getting custody of your children in Tennessee

Divorce creates many uncertainties, but none greater than the custody rights of the parents. Tennessee law provides a complicated but thorough process for determining child custody rights. Our acclaimed Murfreesboro family law attorney, David L. Scott, is available to guide you through the process and help get you the child custody rights you deserve.

What is a parenting plan?

When divorce occurs, and the parents cannot agree on child custody, the court has the authority to award the care, custody and control of a child to both parents (joint custody) or to either of the parents (sole custody). The court’s decision is laid out in a permanent parenting plan. The most important decision in the plan is determining the primary residential parent—the parent whom the child spends the majority of time with. The plan also outlines each parent’s responsibility for child care and residential scheduling. It is often very detailed, covering where children are on holidays, vacations, and special events like birthdays or weddings.

Best interests of the child are always a priority

The goal of the parenting plan is to ensure the best interests of the child. The court has the discretion to consider any relevant information, including these factors:

  • State of love and affection between child and parents

  • Ability of parents to provide food, medical care, and education to child

  • Maintaining a stable environment

  • Stability of the family unit

  • Physical and mental health of the parents

  • Child’s record in school and the community

  • The reasonable preference of the child, if child is 12 or older

The court also has to make its custody determinations within a set of guidelines. These provide that, absent clear and convincing evidence to justify a departure from the guidelines, the following rules apply:

  • Joint custody: Sharing custody between the divorcing parents is the norm.

  • Sexual misconduct: A parent who has been convicted of rape, indecent exposure, prostitution, child sexual abuse or similar sexual crimes may not be awarded custody.

  • Abandonment: A parent who willfully abandoned a child for 18 months or longer usually has restricted time with the child.

The court has a great deal of information to consider when issuing a parenting plan, and deciding which parent is the primary residential parent. Our family law attorney puts more than 19 years of experience to use for you, by presenting your information and educating the court. All with the goal of maximizing the time you get to spend with your child.

Contact an experienced Murfreesboro child custody attorney today

Judges are overwhelmed with cases and have limited time to review the facts of a divorce and issue a parenting plan. Our Murfreesboro family law attorney David L. Scott recognizes this and presents the facts of your case efficiently and persuasively to give the judge the information necessary to make a decision in the best interests of your child. Contact us at 615-896-7656 or online.




2 Locations to Serve You

722 South Church Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Phone: 615-896-7656

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4322 Harding Pike #417
Nashville, TN 37205

Phone: 615-203-8062

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Based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, we are pleased to serve clients throughout Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville, Woodbury, McMinnville, Manchester, Shelbyville, Lebanon, Mount Juliet and other communities in Rutherford County, Williamson County, Cannon County, Bedford County, Davidson County, Wilson County and Coffee County.


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