Chattanooga Child Custody Lawyer
Assisting Clients With Child Custody Matters in Tennessee
At Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC, we recognize that child custody matters can frequently be emotionally charged and legally complex. Our Chattanooga child custody lawyers are dedicated to helping families in Tennessee navigate the challenges of child custody cases. We are committed to delivering compassionate and knowledgeable legal representation to safeguard your child's best interests.
Call Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC today at (423) 799-3030 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our child custody attorney in Chattanooga.
What is Child Custody?
Child custody commonly refers to the legal and physical obligation for the care and upbringing of the child after a divorce or separation. In Tennessee, as in many other states, there are two primary types of child custody:
- Legal Custody: Legal custody involves the right to make critical decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Parents with legal custody have the authority to make these decisions on behalf of their child.
- Physical Custody: Physical custody often refers to where the child will live and spend most of their time. It determines which parent the child will live with and how visitation arrangements will be structured.
Child custody can be further classified into two subtypes:
- Sole Custody: In sole custody, one parent is given full legal and physical custody of the child, while the other parent may have visitation rights. Sole custody is generally awarded when one parent is deemed unfit or joint custody is not in the child's best interests.
- Joint Custody: Joint custody is a shared arrangement, meaning both parents have legal and physical custody of the child. It's considered the ideal scenario when both parents are capable and willing to cooperate in making decisions for the child's well-being.
How is Child Custody Decided in Tennessee?
Child custody decisions in Tennessee are primarily based on the child's best interests. To determine what arrangement is in the child's best interests, the court takes various factors into account, including but not limited to:
- Child's Age and Developmental Needs: The court considers the child's age, physical and emotional needs, and any special requirements.
- Parent-Child Relationship: The court assesses the bond between each parent and the child, as well as the ability of each parent to provide a stable and loving environment.
- Parental Fitness: The court examines both parents' physical and mental soundness, as well as their willingness and ability to facilitate a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent.
- Co-Parenting Skills: The court evaluates the parents' ability to communicate and cooperate in making decisions about the child's upbringing.
- Stability of the Home Environment: The stability and safety of each parent's home are considered, including the proximity to the child's school and community.
- Child's Wishes: If the child is old enough and mature enough, their custody preferences may be considered.
- History of Abuse or Neglect: Any history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence may impact custody decisions.
- Religious and Cultural Considerations: The court may consider the child's religious and cultural background when making custody determinations.
It's essential to understand that Tennessee courts typically favor joint custody arrangements, as they believe it is generally in the child's best interests to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. If parents can agree on child custody through mediation or negotiation, the court will more likely approve their arrangement. However, when parents cannot agree, the court will decide based on the above-mentioned factors.
Contact Our Child Custody Attorney in Chattanooga Today
At Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC, we represent your interests and protect your child's best interests. Our Chattanooga child custody lawyers deeply understand Tennessee's family laws and a track record of helping clients achieve favorable custody arrangements. Contact us today, and let us guide you through this challenging process with care and experience. Your child's future is our priority.
Contact Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC today to get started with our Chattanooga child custody lawyer.