How to Get Equal Time Sharing Between Parents in TN
25 April 2023IN: Child Custody
Many parents worry about not seeing their children as much after a divorce. In the past, one parent got primary child custody while the other got visitation. This may have amounted to seeing the child every other weekend.
Times have changed, and joint custody, or equal time-sharing, has become more common in Tennessee. But it does not happen in every child custody case. The court decides based on various factors. Equal time-sharing is not always good for the child. If you want to get equal time sharing in Tennessee, here is what you need to know.
What the Law Says
Under TN Code § 36-6-106, the court shall order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of the child. While this has led courts to grant equal parenting time to both parties with minor children, courts have also been mindful that the law also states that neither a preference nor a presumption for or against sole or joint custody is established.
What this means is that although equal parenting time has become more common in Tennessee, there is no assumption of joint custody. The court will order it if it is in the child’s best interest.
Best Interests of the Child
The best interests of the child consist of many factors, with a focus on the location of the residences of the parents and the child’s need for stability. Some other factors include:
- The child’s relationship with each parent.
- The ability of both parents to encourage a parent-child relationship with the other parent.
- The ability of each parent to provide the child with necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.
- The developmental and emotional needs of the child.
- The child’s place in the school and community.
- The physical and mental health of both parents.
- The child’s wishes, if over the age of 12.
When Equal Time-Sharing Does Not Work
Equal time-sharing is not always in the child’s best interest, especially when the following apply:
- A parent has been accused of abuse or neglect.
- A parent engages in alcohol or drug abuse.
- The parents live far away from each other.
- The parents do not get along with each other.
- The work schedules of one or both parents make a shared schedule difficult to implement.
- The child is struggling to adapt.
- Children sometimes do better when they spend less time with one parent.
Contact Us Today
To get equal time-sharing in Tennessee, the judge needs to rule that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. If you and the other parent cannot get along or you have an addiction or other issue that can affect your ability to parent, then joint custody will not be the norm.
A Tennessee child custody lawyer from The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you navigate the complexities of state law. We’ll help you find the best resolution. Schedule a consultation by calling (615) 896-7656 or filling out the online form.